NUCLEAR FORENSICSNuclear Forensics International Group Anniversary Meeting at Livermore

Published 22 June 2022

After a little more than 25 years, the Nuclear Forensics International Technical Working Group (ITWG) is returning to its roots in Livermore, California. Founded in 1995 in a meeting at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), the ITWG met in Europe for 24 straight years from 1996 through 2019.

After a little more than 25 years, the Nuclear Forensics International Technical Working Group (ITWG) is returning to its roots in Livermore, California.

Founded in 1995 during an organizational meeting held at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), the ITWG met in Europe for 24 straight years from 1996 through 2019.

But this year and this week, the international organization of nuclear forensics scientists will hold its 25th anniversary meeting at the Pleasanton Marriott and visit LLNL, returning to its genesis. The ITWG was scheduled to meet at LLNL in 2020, but because of COVID-19, the group didn’t meet that year and held a virtual meeting in 2021.

“We are all excited and honored to have the ITWG annual meeting return home after 25 years,” said LLNL’s Mike Kristo, the technical host for the meeting and the leader for Lab’s Chemical and Isotopic Signatures Group.

“It is great recognition of both the historical role that LLNL has played in nuclear forensics, but also of LLNL’s ongoing vital role in nuclear forensics, both domestically and internationally,” he added.

About 70 nuclear forensics practitioners from 20 nations are expected to attend the week-long conference, which will kick off Monday with a reception, followed by three days of meetings and a tour of LLNL facilities on Friday.

The first day of meetings on Tuesday will include welcomes and overviews from the ITWG’s two co-chairs — Klaus Mayer of the European Commission and Joint Research Center (JRC)-Karlsruhe and Michael Curry, senior coordinator for nuclear forensics cooperation from the U.S. State Department.

Other welcomes will be given by Glenn Fox, LLNL’s associate director for Physical & Life Sciences; Ali El-Jaby, the director of the nuclear security division of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission; and Andrew Vogt, director of the Office of Nuclear Smuggling Detection and Deterrence (NSDD), in the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Office of Global Material Security.

Retired LLNL nuclear forensics scientist Sid Niemeyer, who helped found the ITWG, will speak to the gathering about “The Early Development of the Science of Nuclear Forensics,” and Kristo will present a talk on “The History of Nuclear Forensics at LLNL.” Two other LLNL researchers — Naomi Marks and Amy Gaffney — will also present technical talks.

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