Nuclear Security : Expert Reports

The division produces 60-70 reports per year. These reports are unique, authoritative expert evaluations. Each report is produced by a committee of experts selected by the Academy to address a particular statement of task and is subject to a rigorous, independent peer review. The experts who volunteer their time participating on study committees are vetted to make sure that the committee has the range of expertise needed to address the task, that they have a balance of perspectives, and to identify and eliminate members with conflicts of interest. All reports undergo a rigorous, independent peer review to assure that the statement of task has been addressed, that conclusions are adequately supported, and that all important issues raised by the reviewers are addressed. Thus, while the reports represent views of the committee, they also are endorsed by the Academy.

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Performance Metrics for the Global Nuclear Detection Architecture (2013)

This report provides advice on how to better evaluate the performance and effectiveness of the Global Nuclear Detection Architecture, a worldwide network of sensors, telecommunications and personnel that serves to deter and detect attempts to unlawfully transport radiological or nuclear material. The Domestic Nuclear Detection Office within the Department of Homeland Security, together with several federal partners, is responsible for reportin... More >>

Improving the Assessment of the Proliferation Risk of Nuclear Fuel Cycles (2013)

The material that sustains the nuclear reactions that produce energy can also be used to make nuclear weapons—and therefore, the development of nuclear energy is one of multiple pathways to proliferation for a non-nuclear weapon state. There is a tension between the development of future nuclear fuel cycles and managing the risk of proliferation as the number of existing and future nuclear energy systems expands throughout the world. As th... More >>

Understanding and Managing Risk Security Systems for the DOE Nuclear Weapons Complex (2011)

In the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Nuclear Security Administration -- a semi-autonomous agency -- is responsible for securing fully and partially assembled nuclear weapons and significant quantities of special nuclear material at facilities around the country. The U.S. Congress directed the Administration to ask the National Research Council for advice on augmenting its security approach, particularly on the applicability o... More >>

Evaluating Testing, Costs, and Benefits of Advanced Spectroscopic Portals (2011)

The Department of Homeland Security is assessing a new radiation screening system to improve detection of nuclear or radiological material in cargo containers entering the United States. Shortcomings in the design and evaluation of tests conducted in 2008 reduce the Department's ability to compare the performance of the proposed system -- advanced spectroscopic portals -- to the handheld devices and portal monitors currently in use, according t... More >>

Nuclear Forensics: A Capability at Risk (2010)

Nuclear forensics is the examination and evaluation of discovered or seized nuclear materials and devices or, in cases of nuclear explosions or radiological dispersals, of detonation signals and post-detonation debris. Nuclear forensic evidence helps law enforcement and intelligence agencies work toward preventing, mitigating, and attributing a nuclear or radiological incident. This report, requested by the Department of Homeland Security, th... More >>