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Nuclear Detection, Forensics and Response

Nuclear Detection, Forensics and Response

The need for nuclear security S&T continues to grow in Canada, as evidenced by the government’s renewed commitments to nuclear threat reduction, both domestically and abroad. A growing demand comes from government departments and agencies for nuclear S&T expertise to inform their response to emergent national and international issues concerning nuclear safeguards, safety and security.

CNL possesses differentiating capabilities that fill these nuclear security S&T needs in Canada. These capabilities include:

  • Safe, secure, controlled access to locations with sensitive categories of special nuclear material that allow realistic testing and validation of safeguards and security-related detection and characterization
  • State-of-the-art capabilities for irradiation; chemical and mechanical manipulation; and examination and decontamination of nuclear, radioactive and radiologically contaminated materials and biological samples that are required for the national nuclear forensics and response capability

Government departments and agencies continue to invest in developing forensics, security and response technology and capabilities. CNL has established a facility for special nuclear material detection testing and validation, and will continue to grow this as the nucleus of a Centre for Nuclear Detection, Forensics, and Response for government agencies, commercial partners and academia to develop, test, calibrate and validate nuclear forensics, non-proliferation, security, safeguards and response technologies, and materials.

Safeguarding and securing nuclear material is a worldwide concern, as is the ability to attribute any diverted material to a source. CNL has long been developing essential tools to enable national and international nuclear safety and security. For example, the Cerenkov Viewing Device, the “workhorse” for light water reactor used fuel inspection, which is used around the world. By 2025-26, the Centre for Nuclear Detection, Forensics, and Response will enable development of advanced new technologies to detect contraband Special Nuclear Materials inside shipping containers thereby improving Canada’s border security.

CNL is undertaking strategic technology development to address detection of chemical threats including opioids and improvised explosives. CNL will develop primarily nuclear techniques that address both current incarnations and the anticipated evolutionary trajectory of chemical threat materials in the future.