chapter  5
58 Pages

Trace Analysis and Nuclear Forensics

Nuclear forensics (NF) is dened in Wikipedia as “the investigation of nuclear materials to nd evidence for example the source, the trafcking and the enrichment of the material.” A scientically based denition is more specic: “Nuclear forensic analysis seeks to determine the physical, chemical, elemental and isotopic characteristics of nuclear [or radiological] material of unknown origin” (Glaser and Bielefeld 2008). A legalistic denition of NF states “scientic analysis of nuclear or other radioactive material, or of other evidence that is contaminated with radioactive material in the context of legal proceedings, including administrative, civil, criminal or international law” (quoted in Mayer et al. 2013). There are several other denitions, but whatever denition is used, the objectives are still the same: to characterize the radioactive material in order to trace its source and transport route and to verify that it conforms to its declared application.