INL’s nuclear nonproliferation mission enables the Nation to prevent, counter, and respond to nuclear and radiological threats. INL provides technical resources, special nuclear materials, and several dedicated outdoor training ranges with access to short-lived radioactive materials that support civilian and military programs. Many of these programs also support the missions of the Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration, Department of Defense, and Department of Homeland Security.
INL has top nonproliferation experts with real-world experience and backgrounds in nuclear facility inspection, modeling and simulation, material science, physics and engineering. These employees hold dozens of patents, have won numerous awards, and lead global nonproliferation programs.
Material Security and International Safeguards
As a leader in the nuclear field historically, INL engineers have created detection technology and safeguards and security recommendations for worldwide application. Now, INL is working toward a future where nuclear facilities will be designed to be more efficient and effective at safeguards and protection. >> Read More
Emergency Response and Readiness
As the nation’s lead research institution for nuclear energy, INL employs world-renowned nuclear scientists, engineers, and nonproliferation experts who lead immersive, hands-on responder training. INL’s isolated landscape and nuclear materials inventory supports real-world weapons of mass destruction training exercises. Sessions include a mixture of classroom and field exercises taught by experts with backgrounds in radiological detection, measurement and interrogation techniques. >> Read More
Radiochemistry and Nuclear Measurements
The Radiochemistry and Nuclear Measurements Department focuses on research and development of instruments and methods related to handling, chemical processing, isotopic separations, purification, detection, and measurement of radioactive materials. This work focuses on a broad set of applications in support of nuclear energy development, special nuclear materials accountancy and controls, international safeguards, nuclear nonproliferation, nuclear counterproliferation, nuclear forensics, and other national security applications. Strengths include the production and characterization of radioactive gasses, the isotopic enrichment of trace quantities of actinides and other radionuclides, ultratrace isotope mass spectrometry, high-resolution gamma-ray spectrometry and prompt gamma-ray neutron activation analysis, high-speed data acquisition, fast neutron detection and measurement, alpha spectrometry, and active neutron interrogation for the detection and characterization of high explosives, chemicals, and special nuclear materials. Emerging areas of research include data analytics, acoustics, and x-ray radiography of irradiated nuclear fuel.
Nuclear Research Facilities
Nonproliferation and security experts play an important role in developing technology, policy, and systems for safeguarding and securing nuclear materials and facilities.
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- Zero Power Physics Research facility is employed as a safeguarded nuclear facility with an internationally recognized research staff working to solve global nonproliferation challenges.
- The Hot Fuel Examination Facility (HFEF) is a versatile modern hot-cell facility operated and maintained in support of post-irradiation examinations, spent fuel treatment, and characterization of contact-handled transuranic waste.
- Fuel Conditioning Facility (FCF) supports pyroprocessing, or pyrometallurgical treatment of spent nuclear fuel, as the principal alternative to aqueous reprocessing technology.
- The Fuel Manufacturing Facility (FMF) is a multiuse R&D facility developing new fuel types that incorporate proliferation-resistant characteristics and use new materials and alloys.
- Advanced Test Reactor Complex is the focal point for irradiation testing of nuclear fuels and materials technologies.
- Stand-off Experiment Range facilitates high-energy particle accelerator demonstrations.