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NTI Experts Participate in Hands-on Nuclear Disarmament Verification Exercises in Belgium and Germany

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On September 9, NTI’s Andrew Newman, senior director for Nuclear Fuel Cycle
Activities, joined 30 scientists from 10 countries, at the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK•CEN) in Mol to begin a 10-day
international technology demonstration by the

International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification (IPNDV), a project led by
NTI and the U.S. Department of State with more than 25 countries with and
without nuclear weapons. This technical demonstration, born out the IPNDV’s
collaborative theoretical work on nuclear disarmament verification challenges,
tested various methods for verifying the presence or absence of special nuclear
material. The demonstration was carried out at SCK•CEN’s highly secure
facility, enhancing the realism of the exercise because the conditions are
similar to that of a real-life nuclear disarmament verification scenario.
Lessons learned from this exercise will help others identify potential
technologies for future use to verify the removal of fissile material from a
nuclear weapon.

Following this technical demonstration, NTI’s Corey
Hinderstein
, vice president for International Fuel Cycle Strategies, joined
more than 20 other participants from 11 IPNDV partner countries at Forschungszentrum Jülich in Jülich,
Germany this week to participate in the Nuclear Disarmament Verification
(NuDiVe) Exercise, jointly organized by France and Germany on September 23.

This week-long exercise, focused on
the dismantlement phase of the IPNDV’s 
14-step framework, aims
to assess how chain-of-custody concepts developed by the partners during Phases
I and II of the project can be applied to nuclear warheads and their components
during and after dismantlement in a way that strengthens confidence and
effectiveness. Beyond its technical exploration, NuDiVe also will facilitate
the sharing of knowledge and experience between countries with and without
nuclear weapons regarding the conduct of inspection activities while respecting
non-proliferation, safety, and security obligations, as well as other national
security constraints.

Hinderstein is part of the
Evaluation Team, which will observe and critically assess the work of the
Inspection and Host Teams who are executing the exercise. The exercise involves
a two-day training course and three-days of implementing notional procedures,
using actual monitoring and inspection equipment, along with surrogate
radioactive materials to replicate the special nuclear material found in a
nuclear warhead.

The Belgian-led technical
demonstration and the NuDiVe exercise are both part of the IPNDV’s effort to
take its work “from paper to practice” – testing technologies and concepts and
working to demonstrate results. Outcomes from both will help inform the
Partnership’s future work on nuclear disarmament verification.

More information about the IPNDV can
be found on the Partnership’s website.

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