Dr. Mark Wrobel, Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, receives the Secretary's Award for Excellence at the Department of Homeland Security Secretary's Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C., Nov. 8, 2017.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) selected Colorado State University (CSU), in collaboration with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and the University of Texas at Austin (UTA), partnering with the Air Force Technical Applications Center as the first DHS Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) Nuclear Forensics Research Award (NFRA) recipients. The Nuclear Forensics Research Awards support cutting edge research in nuclear forensics. Nuclear forensics allows the United States Government to identify those responsible for a terrorist nuclear attack.
The United States and Canada recently held the first joint nuclear forensics exercise between the two countries, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The exercise simulated a nuclear detonation, allowing experts from both countries to improve operational readiness to respond to radiological or nuclear attacks. The advancement of international cooperation in nuclear forensics will help improve the ability of the U.S. and its allies to determine the source of a detonated device.
Last week, the Department of Homeland Security’s Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) joined with partners at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to launch the Plutonium Processing Signatures Discovery capability. The new capability, the result of a four-year effort, represents a significant technological advancement in nuclear forensics that will improve our ability to trace the origins of plutonium.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded the initial funding of the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office’s (DNDO) Securing the Cities program to Chicago, further building upon the Department’s ongoing efforts to increase the Nation’s capabilities to detect and protect against radiological and nuclear threats.
Recently, the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) helped plan and conduct an exercise of the United States’ capability to collect radioactive evidence in the immediate aftermath of a nuclear detonation. The exercise scenario included the detonation of an Improvised Nuclear Device in an urban setting. In a real event, the evidence collected helps identify the source of the device and those responsible for its use.
The Domestic Nuclear Detection Office’s (DNDO) efforts in nuclear forensics and detection were highlighted at the fourth Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C. from March 31 to April 1, 2016. The Nuclear Security Summit has focused international efforts to address nuclear terrorism since it was launched by President Obama in 2010.
Last month, the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) conducted a joint trial with Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs to assess the U.S.-developed Radiological Multisensor Analysis Platform system. This trial marks an important milestone in what has been a successful research and development collaboration between Singapore and the United States. The collaboration has led to the advancement of capabilities to detect, identify, and localize radiological and nuclear threats.
On February 3, 2016, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson met with local law enforcement officials and the National Football League (NFL) security team to oversee the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) security operations that will help ensure the safety and security of employees, players and fans during Super Bowl 50.