ORNL plays an important role in national and global security by virtue of its expertise in advanced materials, nuclear science, supercomputing and other scientific specialties. Discovery and innovation in these areas are essential for protecting US citizens and advancing national and global security priorities. ORNL supports these missions by using its signature strengths to meet complex national security challenges in a number of areas.
Nuclear Nonproliferation – The laboratory’s expertise and experience covers the spectrum of nuclear nonproliferation work, from basic R&D to “boots-on-the-ground” implementation. This work ranges from uranium fuel cycle research to detection technologies and nuclear forensics. ORNL’s non-proliferation activities include developing, coordinating and helping to implement policies designed to reduce threats from a variety of sources, including nuclear weapons and “dirty bombs.”
National Defense – ORNL works with the US Department of Defense to respond to global challenges by developing and delivering advanced technologies in areas such as special materials; information management, synthesis and analysis; advanced sensor technology; energy efficiency technologies; early warning systems for chemical and biological threats; and unmanned air, ground and sea systems.
Homeland Protection – The laboratory provides critical support to federal and state agencies with homeland security missions in the areas of preventing, mitigating, and responding to natural and man-made disasters. Some notable areas of research and support include developing technologies to provide real-time information and logistical support to first responders, providing information and analysis for protective actions, assessing the security of shipping, and providing technical support for issues surrounding the control of materials that could be used in nuclear, chemical, biological, and missile applications.
Intelligence Community – ORNL also supports the US intelligence community by applying the breadth of its scientific expertise to address critical challenges in areas such as cybersecurity, knowledge discovery, communications, nuclear fuel cycle analysis and biometrics.