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.
Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO)
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.
Last month, the DHS Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) participated in the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) workshop, “Presenting Nuclear Forensic Findings in Court,” in Karlsruhe, Germany. DHS was part of a U.S. delegation of federal partners from the Department of State, the Department of Energy (DOE), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Sixteen GICNT partner nations and three observing international organizations also participated in this workshop.
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.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) Director Huban Gowadia addresses the President’s FY 2017 budget request for Research and Development under DNDO’s purview, and the process by which DNDO carries out these functions.