Nuclear Science


Nuclear Forensics

ORNL is known as a world leader in R&D activities involving fuel cycle expertise, nuclear facilities, and inorganic mass spectrometry as applied to traditional nuclear forensic science applications. The application of classical forensic science tools (mass spectrometry, surface analysis, and materials analysis) has been a strong effort over the years.  Now, as the science landscape within ORNL is changing and expanding, new technologies and approaches to solving basic forensic science questions are being developed and applied, providing solutions to forensic science problems that represent the gaps today and significant needs going forward. Through a highly multidisciplinary effort, ORNL staff members are developing the analysis tools and techniques for the applications of the future: new advances in sampling science, micro- and nanoscale analysis, and integration of analysis results with new models and signatures. Forensic analysis and sample handling is achievable through a wide range of radiological controls levels, from spent fuel to ultra-trace environmental analysis performed in ultra–clean class 100 clean rooms. Through leveraging of ORNL nuclear and scientific facilities and expertise, ORNL is bridging the gap between the well-established tools of the trade today and the application of cutting edge tools for tomorrow.

For more information, contact:
Nuclear Security and Isotope Technology Division


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