Nuclear security work aims to prevent, or detect and respond, to intentional malicious acts involving radioactive substances or directed against facilities or activities where such substances are used. Nuclear Forensics Science has been defined by the IAEA as “a discipline of forensic science involving the examination of nuclear and other radioactive material, or of other evidence that is contaminated with radionuclides, in the context of legal proceedings”. Nuclear Forensics is an important element in a state’s nuclear security architecture and serves to address the threats of nuclear smuggling, nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism. Nuclear Forensics Science includes set of analytical methods used for determination of properties of the materials that can help in getting more information on the origin and/or intended use of these materials. A combination of parameters that is required is referred as “signatures”. The analytical methods that are mostly used belong to radioanalytical chemistry, but there are also aspects of material science, geochemistry, nuclear physics, etc. The continuous improvement of measurement techniques, the exploration of novel signatures and the application of data analysis contribute to further advancing this discipline.

This presentation will give an overview of main characteristics of radiological crime scene management and some methods that are commonly used in the area of Nuclear Forensics. The novel approaches and current trends in the area will be elaborated. A special attention will be devoted to the use of gamma spectrometry as a nondestructive analytical method in Nuclear Forensics.

Organized by: Paulo Brás, Paulo Silva, Jaime Silva