Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability

Nuclear Forensics

Nuclear forensics is a key component of the Laboratory's mission

Contact Us  

  • Group Leader
  • Craig Taylor
  • Deputy Group Leader
  • Lance Green
  • Deputy Group Leader
  • Ning Xu
  • Deputy Group Leader
  • Stephen Willson
  • Group Office
  • (505) 667-4087

Actinide Analytical Chemistry supports nuclear forensics in a variety of ways

Nuclear forensics aids in the prevention of nuclear terrorism, and failing that, enabling the rapid attribution of a nuclear event. Actinide Analytical Chemistry supports through collection, analysis and evaluation of radiological and nuclear material in both pre-detonation and post-detonation scenarios. The group is vital to the Laboratory’s status as a DHS National Technical Nuclear Forensics Hub Laboratory.

The Lab was designated a hub-laboratory for pre-detonation nuclear forensics in 2010 and has more recently been accredited for bulk nuclear material analysis, in accordance with the international standard ISO/IEC 17025:2005.

Analytical methods used: controlled potential coulometry, ICP-AES, gamma/beta/alpha spectrometry, TIMS, IDMS, ICPMS, DC-Arc, XRF, XRD, SEM, spectrophotometry.

Analytical Methods - Chemists

Nuclear Forensics

  • Actinide Analytical Chemistry provides analyses and directs other Lab contributors in demonstrating the capability to extract plutonium from sealed radioactive sources for forensic characterization.