Fact Sheet: Joint Statement on Forensics in Nuclear Security


Office of the Press Secretary


For Immediate Release                         


Forensics in Nuclear Security

The continued occurrence of transnational attempts to smuggle nuclear and other radioactive materials underscores the need for strong international efforts to deter potential perpetrators, investigate and disrupt smuggling networks, and improve nuclear security.  The advancement of international nuclear forensics cooperation will strengthen global capabilities to counter illicit trafficking by: 1) helping partner nations identify the origin and pathway associated with interdicted material; 2) enabling improved safeguards and physical protection measures at the place of theft or diversion to prevent future losses; and 3) supporting criminal prosecution.

To underscore the importance of nuclear forensics asa key component of nuclear security, Australia has sponsored a Joint Statement on Forensics in Nuclear Security.  Building upon the Joint Statement from 2014, which raised awareness about nuclear forensics capabilities, current commitments included in this Joint Statement highlight the importance of practical implementation and sustainment of such capabilities.

As a signatory to this statement, the United States will foster practical implementation and sustainment of nuclear forensics capabilities in several key areas. To further cultivate expertise, the U.S. will develop and implement an expert testimony training program for nuclear forensic scientists to establish practices for how to describe nuclear forensics conclusions in judicial proceedings.  The United States offers training curriculum to assist the inclusion of nuclear forensics capabilities in national response frameworks.  The United States seeks engagement opportunities with international partners to discuss nuclear forensics assistance pertaining to a nuclear security event.  Engagement with partners on nuclear forensics both bilaterally and with international organizations is a top priority.