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Architecture and Plans Directorate

The Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) Office was established in December 2017 by consolidating primarily the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, a majority of the Office of Health Affairs, as well as other DHS elements.

For current information related to CWMD, please visit the following:

Within the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO), the Architecture and Plans Directorate develops, analyzes, and reports on the Global Nuclear Detection Architecture.The Global Nuclear Detection Architecture is a framework for detecting (through technical and non-technical means), analyzing, and reporting on nuclear and other radioactive materials that are out of regulatory control.   Working in coordination with international, federal, state, and local partners, the Architecture and Plans Directorate analyzes the Global Nuclear Detection Architecture, identifies weaknesses and vulnerabilities, and develops programs to address these issues, to make nuclear terrorism prohibitively difficult for our adversaries.


The Architecture and Plans Directorate works to reduce the risk of nuclear terrorism by strengthening efforts to detect nuclear and other radioactive materials that are out of regulatory control.  The directorate is responsible for analyzing nuclear detection capabilities, developing programs to address gaps in detection capabilities, reporting on progress, building interagency partnerships, and crafting plans and guidance for improving detection efforts and planning both domestically and internationally. 


To support its mission, the directorate supports studies and analyses which help:

  • Formulate effective plans for reducing the risk of radiological and nuclear attacks;
  • Identify potential gaps; and
  • Evaluate advantages and disadvantages of using alternative solutions.  

Strategies and plans are developed in close coordination with U.S. Government partners as well as the private sector and international partners.  Constantly updating strategies, plans, and processes is necessary to keep up with evolving technological advances and changing threats. 

The Architecture and Plans Directorate's work cuts across four functional areas:


Conducts analysis of detection and reporting capabilities across air, land, and sea domains by assessing capabilities, identifying gaps, and prioritizing requirements, as well as evaluating risk and creating models that define the structure, behavior, and properties of the Global Nuclear Detection Architecture's capabilities.

Planning and Reporting

Coordinates the preparation of plans to guide Global Nuclear Detection Architecture development, performance measures to gauge the progress, and formal reports on the nuclear detection-related activities of the U.S. Government.

Program Development

Works with U.S. Department of Homeland Security components and other stakeholders to identify, develop, and shape programs to address prioritized capability gaps and shortfalls.

International Collaboration

In concert with other federal government efforts, collaborates with international entities, such as the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, to positively influence detection efforts worldwide and promote the development of radiological and nuclear detection architectures.    

Efforts strive to maximize the potential of the Global Nuclear Detection Architecture’s capabilities, while providing a cost-effective architecture that result in enhanced security against nuclear terrorism.

Domestic Nuclear Detection Office MS0550
Department Of Homeland Security
245 Murray Lane SW
Washington DC 20528-0550

Last Updated: 09/23/2019
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