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In Pictures: Nuclear Forensic Sleuths

Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s nuclear detectives suit up for work in the Ultra Trace Science Facility cleanrooms. 

In 2011, ORNL invested in its nuclear analytical chemistry group, creating the Ultra-Trace Forensics Science Facility as part of the Nuclear Analytical Chemistry and Isotopics Laboratories (NACIL). Over the last two years the U.S. Department of State provided NACIL investments totaling more than $1.5 million to replace aging mass spectrometers with state-of-the-art instruments with capabilities unmatched in sensitivity and precision.

With growing project requests coming from myriad sources like the State Department, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, NASA and IAEA, the ORNL scientists are applying seventy-plus years of nuclear know-how to tackle some of the world’s most pressing nuclear security problems.

Read more: Using Nuclear Forensics to Solve Mysteries

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