Nuclear Forensics and What it Can Tell Us about Materials from the Front End of the Uranium Fuel Cycle



MON, 10/29/2018 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
Fall 2018 Colloquium Series

Cohosted together with the NSSC

The illicit trafficking of radioactive and nuclear materials has been the subject of increasing concern in the international community over the past decade.  These materials are problematic because of their radiotoxicity, and have been lately discovered in settings ranging from contaminated scrap metal to Am-241-laced gambling dice.  The trafficking of nuclear materials poses a greater concern, as these materials pose a proliferation risk if they are diverted and escape regulatory control.  Nuclear forensic signatures can help to elucidate the origin of a material, and are also relevant for assessing the consistency of a state’s declarations.  In this talk I will describe case studies and research on elemental and isotopic signatures that can be used to address questions of nuclear forensic interest.

About the Speaker:

Naomi Marks is a researcher in nuclear forensics at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) with expertise in thermal ionization mass spectrometry and electron probe microanalysis, including applications to nuclear forensics; as well as expertise in U mining and milling; isotopic and chemical evolution of early solar system materials; and international nuclear forensics engagements.  She is serves as developer and designer for the NNSA and IAEA Nuclear Forensics training courses and has traveled to more than a dozen countries in support of nuclear forensics cooperation engagements.  Naomi’s current research focuses on identifying geochemical signatures in materials from the early part of the uranium fuel cycle and on developing nuclear forensics libraries.