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Nonproliferation Technology

About SRNL - Directorates

National Security

David Wilson
Associate Laboratory Director


Nonproliferation Technology

The goal of National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Research and Development (R&D) is to create innovative technologies for the detection of nuclear and radiological materials, and to keep these materials from getting into the wrong hands.  The Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) plays an instrumental role in detecting and deterring illicit transfers of weapons-usable materials and equipment, preventing the spread of sensitive nuclear weapons technology, and developing cutting-edge nuclear detection technologies.

SRNL scientists have hands-on experience with nuclear production facilities.  Collection technologies used and developed by our researchers have transitioned from the laboratory to security agencies and are widely used in the field, bridging the gap between technology creation and utilization.  Analysts at SRNL evaluate samples for trace radionuclides and interpret sample analysis data.  Other vital research includes transport and process modeling, and ground truth and modeling for remote sensing applications.  SRNL offers a cradle-to-grave structure for many programs and is actively engaged in collaboration with multiple government agencies, universities, and other Department of Energy laboratories.

With over 50 years of experience supporting the Savannah River Site’s (SRS) nuclear operations, scientists at SRNL have a solid background in support of SRS nuclear operations, including performing environmental sample collections and trace analytical measurements. SRNL has extensive experience supporting nonproliferation R&D and transitioning that technology to security agencies in order to meet nonproliferation, counter proliferation and counterterrorism responsibilities.

Security Through Research and Development

Nuclear Weaponization and Material Production Detection
SRNL develops and tests new methods to detect, locate, and identify weapons and production facilities. This cutting-edge research can detect unique weapons signatures and predict potential areas of concern through the use of atmospheric technologies.

Nuclear Weapons and Material Security
SRNL’s extensive involvement in nuclear operations includes reactor operations, plutonium and tritium processing, and spent fuel reprocessing. Combined with the International Atomic Energy Agency, this forms the foundation for research in radiation detection and Special Nuclear Materials.

Enabling Capabilities for Nonproliferation and Arms Control
SRNL uses simulations, algorithms and models for research into radionuclide signature source terms and transport. Modeling and measurement technology is developed at SRNL to help determine nuclear facility operations.

Nuclear Detonation Detection and Nuclear Forensics
SRNL supports the National Nuclear Security Administration and other federal agencies in nuclear forensics research and development. SRNL investigates everything from highly radioactive materials handling, to ultra-low level counting and high-sensitivity isotopic analysis.



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