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Itzhak Halevy: The contribution of Nuclear Forensics to General Forensics. Do we really need that?
March 14, 2019 @ 14:00 - 15:00
Thursday, 14.3. 2019, 14.00,
Lecture room F2 (1st floor), MFF UK, Ke Karlovu 5
Department of Physics, NRCN, Israel
(based on the report of Klaus Mayer, ITU Germany)
The contribution of Nuclear Forensics to General Forensics. Do we really need that?
Reports on seizures of nuclear material (i.e., uranium or plutonium) and of radioactive sources continue to attract the attention of the public and are a reason for concern due to the hazard associated with such material. Once the material has been detected and secured, the questions on the intended use, the radiological hazard and the origin of the material need to be answered. Classical forensic techniques address the criminalistic part of the case, i.e., the identification of the suspect criminal. The phenomenon of nuclear smuggling and illicit trafficking of nuclear material has led to the development of a new branch of science: nuclear forensics. The key issue is the identification of the origin of the material, in order to improve the physical protection measures and prevent future thefts or diversions. The key challenge is the specificity and complexity of the nuclear area and the particular requirements for handling such material. Nuclear forensic science makes use of analytical techniques that were actually developed for applications related to the nuclear fuel cycle, hence appropriate and safe handling of the samples during the investigations is assured. For interpretation of the results, nuclear forensic science relies to a large extent on the expertise and experience of the investigating scientists. Knowledge in areas such as radiochemistry, nuclear physics, reactor physics, materials science and in the nuclear fuel cycle are required. The conclusions, however, need to be supported by reference data wherever possible.
|Uranium oxide fuel pellet, intended for RBMK-1500 reactor, seized in Lithuania.||SEM picture of a PuO2 reference sample of a known fabrication plant, compere to a sample seized in 1994 at Munich Airport, Germany.|