Updated: 08/28/98
News Release

August 27, 1998

Matthew Donoghue, 202/586-5806

Richardson Announces New Partnership Between DOE's Livermore Lab and FBI

Fighting Terrorism with Technology

LIVERMORE, Calif. – U.S. Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson today announced a new partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Energy's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) to fight terrorism with technology. Secretary Richardson designated the Forensic Science Center at Lawrence Livermore as the first in a network of labs that will provide technological support to the FBI.

This development is an outgrowth of an earlier agreement between the two agencies to unite the technological capabilities of the department's national laboratories with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies to counter emerging threats to national security and public safety.

"This partnership brings the scientific and technological expertise of this lab into a new support network for the FBI to fight terrorism," said Secretary Richardson. "The Energy Department's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will provide critical new technologies to counter the threat of weapons of mass destruction, providing the FBI with new capabilities that could save American lives."

One of those critical new technologies is an instrument developed by Livermore scientists and engineers that will allow FBI agents and other investigators to use at the scene of a crime to identify potentially toxic or lethal chemicals.

Another technology is a new field sampling kit that will allow law enforcement and public safety personnel to collect samples of nuclear, chemical and biological agents without actually touching the material in question. This will not only avoid contamination of samples, but also improve safety for agents responding to a potential terrorist threat. The Forensic Science Center can also provide advanced science, technology and diagnostic expertise for law enforcement investigations.

The Forensic Science Center at Livermore has become a leader in the development of new and innovative solutions to complex scientific and technical questions faced by law enforcement. Bringing together a multi-disciplinary scientific staff from across the laboratory, the center is a modern example of the next generation of analytical chemistry and advanced analytical technology to be assembled for domestic law enforcement. By establishing this new partnership with LLNL in California, the FBI has broadened its technical foundation on the West Coast, and Livermore will bring its unique nuclear weapon expertise and strong scientific leadership to the research and development needs of the FBI.

- DOE -