Disorder-based Instruments and Methods for Sensitive Nuclear Inspections

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MON, 03/11/2019 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
Spring 2019 Colloquium Series

Verifying states compliance with international agreements requires trustworthy data.  Acquiring such data requires, in turn, measurement systems that are considered secure by all parties. This is particularly challenging in cases where measurements are conducted in sensitive environments among mutually distrustful parties, for example, as part of verifying compliance with deep nuclear arms-reduction or denuclearization agreements. In this context, measurements on possibly classified items, such as nuclear weapons, are expected to take place during the inspection of military facilities with devices that must be procured in the absence of a trusted-third-party supplier. To address this challenge, this talk introduces “disorder-based” instruments and methods that enable new approaches to the secure inspection of sensitive nuclear activities, sites, and assets, including the possibility for an inspected party to perform minimally intrusive measurements on behalf of inspectors located off-site.

About the Speaker:

Sébastien Philippe is a Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. His research interests include nuclear science and cryptography, especially relating to monitoring and verification technologies; and international relations and policy. His current research explore new approaches to secure and trusted information collection, analysis, and sharing to enable and support the development and verification of new international agreements. In parallel, Philippe pursues research interests on nuclear archaeology and the reconstruction of unsafeguarded uranium trade as an invited fellow with the Nuclear Knowledge Program at Sciences-Po Paris. He is associate editor of the peer-reviewed journal Science and Global Security. He holds a PhD in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University.