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RAP opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology     NIST

Measurement Science for Nuclear Forensics


Physical Measurement Laboratory, Radiation Physics Division

opportunity location
50.68.21.B8118 Gaithersburg, MD

NIST only participates in the February and August reviews.


name email phone
Denis Eugene Bergeron 301.975.2282
Jacqueline Lorraine Mann 301.975.4472


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.



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


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


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


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$82,764.00 $3,000.00
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