By Msc. Hanna Blomaard, Municipality of The Hague
In a world where nuclear terrorism is a potential threat it is important to keep knowledge, policies and techniques in the field of forensics in nuclear security up to date. Nuclear Forensics gained special attention during the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS)2014 in the Hague by presenting the Dutch-led Gift Basket on Forensics in nuclear security. Furthermore, innovations for the future has been presented in the so-called ‘The Hague Innovations Pathway 2014-2019 on Forensics in Nuclear Security’. In the upcoming years towards the final NSS2016 in Washington, the presented innovations will hopefully get further publicity and be used worldwide.
In 2010 at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington the Netherlands stressed the importance of forensic investigation in case of nuclear security incidents. After a formal request the Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI) conducted a study of global initiatives of involving forensic technical investigations in nuclear security incidents. The results of the study and deliverables proposed in a white paper were adopted by the NSS States and formed the key components of the Dutch-led Nuclear Forensics Gift Basket for the NSS2014. The deliverables include a Nuclear Forensics Lexicon, a survey of good practices and an education and training curriculum supported by a knowledge platform to facilitate international discussion and knowledge-sharing. The NFI has developed these initiatives but due to the rapidly changing field of forensics in nuclear security, regular updates and maintenance of the contents are essential. At the NSS2014 Gift Basket Event “Forensics in Nuclear Security” in January at The Hague, delegations from several NSS States and international experts discussed a variety of possible forensic innovations and the future potential for the Gift Basket in support of the Nuclear Security Summits during the next five years.
The outcomes of the recent discussions in The Hague have been used in designing the document Innovations Pathway 2014-2019 which explores the required innovations and the development of examination methods to investigate a nuclear security incident. The selected topics that have been focussed on are innovations towards a national action plan, ‘crime scene’ and laboratory expert methods, education developments, ideas for more collaboration and knowledge-sharing and the future potential of the Dutch-led Gift Basket. The Innovations Pathway addresses the importance of continuously developing the field of forensics in nuclear security in relation to the NSS including the innovations that need to be developed and validated running up to the NSS2016 and beyond. Signing a Joint Statement at the NSS2014 is a first step, but further recognition and notification is needed. We certainly encourage your diplomat network in The Hague, in addition to the Dutch ambassadors and networks abroad, to spread the word. For further information on ‘The Hague Innovations Pathway 2014-2019, please contact email@example.com .