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The New Nuclear Forensics
edited by Vitaly Fedchenko
ISBN 978-0-19-873664-6

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Nuclear forensics is the science of determining the history of a sample of radioactive material through the study of the material's characteristics. While nuclear forensic analysis has normally been associated with investigations and prosecutions in the context of trafficking of nuclear materials or nuclear terrorism, it has wider applications in various national security contexts, such as nuclear non-proliferation, disarmament, and arms control.

The New Nuclear Forensics provides a survey and an analysis of the scientific discipline of nuclear forensic analysis, and the way it is applied to specific issues of international peace and security, from the 1940s to the present day. This book describes the various methods used in nuclear forensics, giving first a general introduction to the process followed by details of relevant measurement techniques and procedures. In each case, the advantages and limitations are outlined. It uses a language and methodology that opens the issue of nuclear forensics and its potential applications to a non-specialist readership.


Introduction. Analysis of Nuclear Materials for Security Purposes
Vitaly Fedchenko

Part I. Nuclear Forensic Methods
2. The Process of Nuclear Forensic Analysis
Vitaly Fedchenko
Appendix 2A.: Sophie Grape: Basic Facts and Definitions Related to Measurements
3. Inorganic Mass Spectrometry as a Tool of Destructive Nuclear Forensic Analysis
Klaus Mayer, Maria Wallenius, Zsolt Varga, Magnus Hedberg, and Nicole Erdmann
4. Gamma Spectroscopy as a Tool of Non-destructive Nuclear Forensic Analysis: further comments
Sophie Grape
5. Sample Characteristics and Nuclear Forensic Signatures
Klaus Mayer, Maria Wallenius, and Zsolt Varga
6. Radionuclides and Signatures Relevant for Post-explosion Environments
Lars-Erik de Geer

Part II. Nuclear Forensics in Practice
7. The Origins of Nuclear Forensic Analysis I: the United States and the Soviet Union
Vitaly Fedchenko
8. The Origins of Nuclear Forensic Analysis II: analysis of nuclear weapon debris in Sweden
Lars-Erik de Geer
Appendix 8A: Lars-Erik de Geer: Detection by Sweden of Chinese Nuclear Tests in the Atmosphere
9. Applications of Nuclear Forensic Analysis
Vitaly Fedchenko and Robert Kelley

About the editor

Vitaly Fedchenko is a Senior Researcher at SIPRI, where his research focuses on nuclear security issues and the political, technological, and educational dimensions of nuclear arms control and non-proliferation. Previously, he worked at the Center for Policy Studies in Russia (PIR Center) and the Institute for Applied International Research (IAIR), Moscow. His publications include Reforming Nuclear Export Controls: The Future of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, SIPRI Research Report no. 22 (2007, co-author).

Ordering details

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN 978-0-19-873664-6 hardback, pp. 280

This book can be ordered from all good bookshops and online booksellers or directly from OUP:



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