Secrecy News

Technology for Detection of Nuclear Weapons Advances

Technology for detecting nuclear weapons and materials “appears to be advancing faster than many have expected,” according to an exceptionally informative new report from the Congressional Research Service.

The 97-page report (pdf) by CRS analyst Jonathan Medalia explains the basics of nuclear detection — what is to be detected and how — and introduces nine illustrative new and emerging technologies for detecting nuclear materials.

“Systems now under development have the potential to reduce false positives (speeding the flow of commerce) and false negatives (improving security).”  Improved detection, besides enhancing security, also serves an important deterrent function, the author writes.

See “Detection of Nuclear Weapons and Materials: Science, Technologies, Observations,” November 6, 2008.

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