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Opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Measurement Science for Nuclear Forensics

Location

Physical Measurement Laboratory, Radiation Physics Division

RO# Location
50.68.21.B8118 Gaithersburg, MD

Please note: This Agency only participates in the February and August reviews.

Advisers

Name E-mail Phone
Bergeron, Denis Eugene denis.bergeron@nist.gov 301.975.2282
Mann, Jacqueline Lorraine jacqueline.mann@nist.gov 301.975.4472

Description

Nuclear forensics is the thorough collection, analysis, and evaluation of radiological and nuclear material from pre- and post-detonations involving an actual or planned nuclear attack. Conclusions drawn from this collected data coupled with law enforcement and intelligence information may support attribution—the identification of those individuals responsible. NIST provides the foundational measurement science needed to advance threat detection and improve the accuracy of nuclear forensics measurements. This includes the delivery of standard reference materials for calibration and testing and proficiency testing materials that are used in proficiency exercises. Proficiency exercises test agencies’ and laboratories’ capability of timely and accurate measurements during emergencies, such as those encountered in pre- or post-detonation scenarios.

The nuclear forensics program at NIST focuses largely on analytical method development, new and improved applications, standard reference and proficiency testing materials development and characterization, quality control, and data modelling and analysis. Opportunities exist to develop and test methods and reference/proficiency test materials to enhance the accuracy/reliability and uncertainty of the methods and accordingly the interpretation of nuclear forensic measurement results. A wide variety of analytical techniques including alpha/gamma spectrometry, proportional counting, low-level gamma, and mass spectrometry are available for this work.

 

Reference

Inn KGW, Johnson CM, et al: Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 296: 5-22, 2013

 

Keywords:
Nuclear forensics; Reference materials; Mass spectrometry; Modelling; Data analysis; Ore- and post-detonation; Proficiency exercise; Accuracy;

Eligibility

Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants
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