In December 2012, the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) formally approved nuclear security detection architecture document of guidelines and best practices, as part of its Nuclear Security Series. As the lead agency in coordinating the development of the global nuclear detection and reporting architecture, this marks a milestone for the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO).
This is the first time that the concept of national-level nuclear detection architectures has been institutionalized in international guidance. This document provides a framework for member states to develop and enhance their own national radiation/nuclear detection capabilities, in order to increase global supply chain and nuclear security around the world.
For nearly two years, we have been working closely with the IAEA to develop a joint working plan to identify areas for further DHS-IAEA cooperation on nuclear security. In August, I met with the IAEA Office of Nuclear Security Director Khammar Mrabit to sign the DHS-IAEA Practical Arrangements, representing an important step forward in the enhancement of the global nuclear security framework. Additionally, DHS was instrumental in promoting the adoption of the watershed guidelines document, “Implementing Guide on Systems and Measures for the Detection of Nuclear and Other Radioactive Material Out of Regulatory Control.”
DNDO is responsible for coordinating the U.S. government’s interagency efforts to develop the Global Nuclear Detection Architecture (GNDA) — a worldwide network of sensors, telecommunications, and personnel, with the supporting information exchanges, programs, and protocols that serve to detect, analyze, and report on nuclear and radiological materials that are out of regulatory control.