Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation
July 12, 2017
More than 100 scientific and law enforcement experts from 40 countries and international organizations met under the auspices of the Nuclear Forensics International Technical Working Group (ITWG) June 28-30, 2017, in Karlsruhe, Germany to strengthen best practices and promote international cooperation in the field of nuclear forensics.
During the meeting, participants reviewed outcomes from a recently-completed collaborative material exercise (CMX-5), discussed on-going play in the national nuclear forensics library exercise (Galaxy Serpent), and planned for a future collaborative material exercise to be conducted in 2018. In addition, ITWG approved four guidelines on nuclear forensics techniques that are available at www.nf-itwg.org.
Nuclear forensic techniques are used to strengthen nuclear security by supporting investigations and prosecutions regarding nuclear or other radioactive materials involved in illicit, malicious or criminal acts. ITWG efforts complement other work in nuclear forensics by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT), and other international efforts to strengthen nuclear security.
The ITWG served as a cooperating organization for the IAEA’s 2016 International Conference on Nuclear Security: Commitments and Action, and shared best practices and lessons learned with conference participants.
The meeting in Karlsruhe is the 22nd annual meeting of the ITWG. The working group was established in response to illicit trafficking of nuclear and other radioactive materials in Europe in the early 1990s. Since then, experts from more than 50 countries have participated in ITWG activities and supported the development and application of forensics techniques to investigate and prosecute illicit uses of nuclear or other radioactive material.
This year’s annual meeting was hosted by the European Commission’s Joint Research Center in Karlsruhe, Germany. ITWG is cooperating with Switzerland to host the annual meeting in 2018.
The ITWG is co-chaired by the European Commission and United States of America. Dr. Klaus Mayer from the Joint Research Center in Karlsruhe, Germany represents the European Commission, and Mr. Michael Curry from the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation represents the United States.