Physics Colloquium - Staff, Students & Alumni welcome

31 January 2013 by Valeria Crowder

Did you know that through term time, there are great lectures on some Fridays, 4:15pm at the Martin Wood lecture Theatre? If you would like more details or to register, please contact Yvonne (01865) 272253 or email her.

Tomorrow, we'll have...

John O’ Malley

Distinguished Scientist - National Nuclear Security Department, AWE Aldermaston

Enhanced Detection of Radiological and Nuclear Materials

4.15 pm Friday 1 February 2013

Martin Wood Lecture Theatre

Between 1993 and 2011, over two thousand confirmed incidents involving criminal activity and radiological and nuclear materials have been reported to the IAEA “international trafficking database”. Sixteen of these incidents involved highly enriched uranium or plutonium, key elements for an improvised nuclear devise. With a burgeoning global nuclear renaissance and the ever present threat of terrorist attack, brought into sharp focus by the events of 9/11, the issue of nuclear smuggling has been an area of increasing concern for the defence and security of nations.

A UK cross government effort has therefore instigated a research programme coordinated through the Atomic Weapons Establishment based in Aldermaston to innovate enhanced methods to detect shielded radiological and nuclear materials with particular emphasis on the detection of shielded highly enriched uranium.

This colloquium will describe some of the challenges faced in detection of shielded radiological and nuclear materials and discuss some of the techniques and technologies being studied to enhance detection capabilities. These techniques include:

• Advanced methods to detect gamma and neutron radiation sources
• Active techniques to stimulate fission signatures from shielded nuclear material
• The use of muon scattering tomography to identify dense anomalies

As well as a host of lower maturity, novel approaches including the use of gravity signatures, air fluorescence and electromagnetic techniques.

Categories: colloquium | physics | events | nuclear security | nuclear