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Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN)
Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism
Global Nuclear Detection Architecture
  

Global Nuclear Detection Architecture

A key component in the global fight against nuclear terrorism is the ability to detect illegal shipments of nuclear or radiological material and to rapidly share information/data on those events with other countries. A robust and coordinated global nuclear detection architecture is a strong deterrent to potential nuclear and radiological proliferators. A multi-agency comprehensive strategy is currently underway to coordinate all nuclear and radiological proliferation programs, initiatives, and related activities of the United States Government (USG) and the international community.

A nuclear detection architecture is a comprehensive set of detection systems and the associated resources and infrastructure that, taken together, are intended to provide an appropriate, effective capability to detect and interdict radiological and nuclear threats. Nuclear detection architectures do not exist in isolation. They are embedded in, and must be integrated with, a larger security framework which includes intelligence, law enforcement, and security programs. Since threats, technologies, and operational settings are not static, an integral part of nuclear detection architecture is a deliberate and sustained commitment to adaptation and continual improvement. A time-phased plan to strengthen the architecture and adjust to changing conditions is therefore desirable.

A nuclear detection architecture comprises several key elements: awareness of nuclear threats, a multi-layered structure of detection systems; a well-defined and carefully coordinated network of interrelationships among them, and formal guidance for governing the architecture’s design and evolution over time.

  
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