Detecting nuclear and radiological materials

06 March 2008

This report presents the findings of a two day workshop held at the Royal Society on 10-11 December 2007, which explored innovative approaches for detecting the illicit trafficking of nuclear and radiological materials. It brought together 70 leading scientific and policy experts from the UK, USA, Russia, Israel and several other European countries.

The report sets detection technologies in the wider context of efforts towards improving nuclear security worldwide.  It outlines the key technical challenges facing nuclear and radiological detection and sets out foreseeable technological developments.  Finally it summarises cross-cutting issues and presents the key points that emerged at the workshop, which included:

  • The requirement for robust prevention, detection and response capabilities to ensure nuclear security.
  • The importance of systems analysis and networking of detectors.
  • The value of aerial detection systems in preventative and responsive roles.
  • The need for improved nuclear forensics capabilities.
  • The requirement for increased international cooperation and coordination.