How Science Impacts Nuclear Security Policy

2016 University and Industry Technical Interchange (UITI) Review Meeting

Raleigh Convention Center, NC

June 7, 2016

Expert Panel on Nonproliferation Challenges


Ms. Corey Hinderstein – National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)

Ms. Corey Hinderstein joined the Department of Energy in February 2015 as the Senior Coordinator for the Nuclear Security Summit, and for Nonproliferation Policy Affairs at the US Department of Energy. Previously, she was Vice President for International Programs at the Nucler Threat Initiative, where she led efforts to create the World Institute for Nuclear Security, and she worked for the IAEA LEU Fuel Bank. From 1996-2006, Ms. Hinderstein worked at the Institute for Science and International Security, conducting open source assessments of proliferate state programs; including the first public identification of Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities at Natanz.

Mr. Alan Lebrun – International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

Mr. Alan Lebrun joined the IAEA in 2002 as a Non-Destructive Assay (NDA) System Engineer after 19 years at the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA). He now leads a group of scientists within the Division of Technical and Scientific Services within the Department of Safeguards. His section provides around 1,000 NDA systems each year to inspectors, and is responsible for the development of all attended mode NDA instrumentation used by IAES inspectors for nuclear material verification. His section is also responsible for Technology Foresight activities aimed at introducing emerging technologies for safeguards implementation.

Dr. Glenn Sjoden – United States Air Force (USAF)

Dr. Glenn Sjoden is the Air Force Technical Applications Center’s Chief Scientist at the Patrick Air Force Base in Florida. The center operates and maintains the U.S. Atomic Energy Detection System; a suite of space-based and subsurface sensors monitoring foreign nuclear test compliance. As Chief Scientist, he is the principal adviser to the commander on scientific and technical matters related to the center’s mission and to its relationships with national and international organizations. Dr. Sjoden’s experience spans a broad range of science and engineering applications, having served in numerous capacities: technical director, nuclear research officer, professor, lead design engineer, and licensed engineering consultant.

Dr. John J. “Jay” Zucca – Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)

Dr. Jay Zucca is a physicist at LLNL in California. He is currently the Principal Deputy for the Global Security Directorate. He started working for LLNL in 1984 after completing his degrees. Dr. Zucca is responsible for manageing, developing, and executing programs in global threat reduction, nuclear nonproliferation, international assessments, and energy technology. Dr. Zucca has served on the U.S. Delegations to the Nuclear Testing Talks (Threshold Test Ban Treaty) and the Conference on Disarmament for the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). He is currently a member of the U.S. Delegation to the Preparatory Commission for the CTBT. He joined the Global Security management team in 2001 and held various positions before accepting his current position in 2012.

Glenn –

  • Culture today – risk mitigation is extreme (paperwork), limited our ability to do research at national albs (in 50s and 60s more risks could be taken )
  • need people writing safe procedures to ensure processes are safe

How science impacts nuclear security policy?

Alain –

  • tech transfer from university to IAEA (field) –
    • difficult to introduce tech with new features / capabilities because results of inspection must be conclusive.
    • limited tech for nuclear radiation detection, could be greatly improved
    • how to use tech is as important as what tech is capable of. Tech must be within compliance with organizations’ standards.

Jay –

  • CTBT not ratified by US – next administration will decide whether to ratify. New START treaty up for review soon. Tech challenges/opportunities – proliferation detection:
    • increase in importance and difficulty
    • nuclear test monitoring: nuclear explosion monitoring (low expolosion magnitude)
      • tool development
      • advances from combining individual tech – partnering important, data/analytics and high power computing is important
    • Disarmament – decrease in arms currntly, what will happen in future?
      • how will you verify something is a certain type of nuke without revealing sensitive info.?
      • lower limits of weapons unknown
  • challenges: detecting nukes and verifying treaties – getting more difficult
  • * interdisciplinary teams needed – key in success is communication

Glenn –

  1. detection of nuclear events for US government and more nuclear forensics
  2. high-performance computing – nonproliferation, modeling, physics tech.
  3. source physics experiments
  4. medical isotopes without violating treaties
  5. mass spectrometry, X-Ray Diffraction, etc. for nuclear forensics
  6. How valid is the measurement? confidence limits. reliability. statistics.

Carey –

  1. appropriately define tech needs while keeping policy in mind – challenges
  2. successes – not using highly enriched uranium in civilian application & verification in arms control agreements (symbiotic tech/science and policy) & procurement working group (Iran)
  3. need to help policy makers understand what certain things mean
  4. make decisions, but be able to back them up (scientist)
  5. challenges:
    1. how far back on fissile material production?
    2. separate field for weapons?
    3. acceptable nuclear fuel cycle vs nonproliferation – trade-offs
    4. technical approach to anything , but there are tradeoffs
    5. haven’t looked as broadly for nuclear materials
    6. operational vs security considerations (not just vs safety)
    7. reasonable threats in response to security – how does this change how we live.
  6. science communication is important – don’t dumb down, communicate WHY your research is important. make it relevant.
  7. Plutonium more important to look at now – wasn’t looked at in past because more difficult and less used. now used more.
  8. using big data in smart ways (with limited budget) important for new administration

Jay – careers for science communicators – arms control delegations, technical advisor for delegations, through national laboratories (leads directly), professors.

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