When a nuclear smuggling incident occurs, it is important to identify what the detected material is and assess where and how it fell out of regulatory control. NNSA’s Nuclear Smuggling Detection and Deterrence (NSDD) program works with international partners to build the technical nuclear forensics capability needed to do this.
Last month, NNSA and the European Commission Joint Research Centre met in Tbilisi, Georgia to pilot a training course to further develop existing technical capabilities to support a nuclear forensics investigation.
Participants included representatives from the Georgia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture. An observer from the International Atomic Energy Agency also attended.
The four-day course covered crime-scene management, the legal framework, and processes needed to investigate nuclear smuggling in Georgia. It also covered a range of techniques that can be used to gather additional information about the detected material. This information ultimately is used to support law enforcement investigations and prosecution of smugglers.
NNSA received valuable feedback on the training course from the Georgian participants, whose expertise and experience in national detection operations have resulted in numerous nuclear smuggling interdictions and convictions.
The workshop helped foster a better understanding of the technical measurements that best support Georgia’s prosecutorial needs, as well as the practical considerations associated with communications among the relevant stakeholders. Lessons learned from this pilot will be incorporated into the training curriculum.