Joint Statement on Forensics in Nuclear Security

JOINT STATEMENT in the context of the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit

Forensics in Nuclear Security                                                                     

Applying science to investigate the illicit use of nuclear or other radioactive material is a crucial element of nuclear security.  Nuclear forensic science assists in determining the provenance of materials encountered out of regulatory control by focusing on the questions that would be asked by regulatory authorities or law enforcement investigators.

This gift basket records the intent of 30 countries[1] to advance nuclear forensics as a key element of effective nuclear security. This may be accomplished by incorporating nuclear forensics as an important element of a nation’s coordinated response, cultivating and sustaining expertise in the fundamental scientific disciplines; and advocating for and supporting international efforts where the implementation of both traditional and nuclear forensic capabilities may be enhanced through sharing.

The Forensics in Nuclear Security Gift Basket presented at the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit raised awareness about good practices employed by practitioners, developed education and training curricula, and advanced international collaboration through a common lexicon and knowledge platform.  Continued effort is needed to strengthen and sustain national nuclear forensic capabilities through their inclusion in national response plans and communicating what nuclear forensics can provide to stakeholders.

Recognizing that practical implementation and sustainment of nuclear forensic capabilities are an enduring component of nuclear security, States that subscribe to this Joint Statement commit to one or more of the following elements: 

  • Develop and sustain expertise through actions such as cross-disciplinary training of traditional forensic and nuclear scientists, transferring knowledge to the next generation of practitioners, cultivating attractive career paths, and facilitating participation in international training including, but not limited to, those offered by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Nuclear Forensics International Technical Working Group (ITWG), the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), or the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT). 
  • Promote employment of existing national nuclear science capabilities to support nuclear forensics.
  • Evaluate and adapt existing national response frameworks to incorporate the effective use of nuclear forensic capabilities.
  • Advance and mature nuclear forensic expertise in other countries through efforts such as providing instruction at or hosting international courses or conferences, publishing techniques in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, or serving as leaders in relevant international groups.

[1] The following countries are signatories to this Joint Statement: Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, France, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, ROK, Thailand, UK and USA. The following organization also supports this Joint Statement: INTERPOL]