Accession Number:

ADA336767

Title:

Environmental Monitoring for Nuclear Safeguards

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

OFFICE OF TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT WASHINGTON DC

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1995-09-01

Pagination or Media Count:

49.0

Abstract:

Environmental monitoring is a potentially powerful supplement to current safeguards techniques intended to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. Prior to the 1991 Persian Gulf War, the International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA administered safeguards primarily on the nuclear materials associated with known commercial or research facilities. Accounting for this material would provide notice were a proliferator to divert any to obtain the necessary nuclear fissile material for nuclear weapons. Events in Iraq revealed after that war have demonstrated that such a safeguards approach addresses only part of the problem. Probably more important to halting proliferation is ensuring that countries do not violate their non-proliferation agreements by constructing covert facilities for nuclear material production. Environmental monitoring, which tests for the presence of materials that are likely to be emitted by such activities, can help inspectors detect undeclared activities at safeguarded sites and may be able to detect covert facilities at undeclared sites.

Subject Categories:

  • Nuclear Warfare
  • Nuclear Weapons

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE