Global Nuclear Detection Architecture: Issues for Congress [July 16, 2008]   [open pdf - 216KB]

"In 2006, the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) was established within the Department of Homeland Security to centralize coordination of the federal response to an unconventional nuclear threat." "The U.S. government has implemented a series of programs to protect the nation against terrorist nuclear attack. Some of these programs predate September 11, 2001, while others were established since then. Most programs are within the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; the Departments of Defense, Energy, and State; and agencies that became part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) upon its creation, and they are focused on detecting the illicit acquisition and shipment of nuclear and radiological materials and protecting and securing nuclear weapons. These disparate programs have historically been viewed as lacking coordination and centralized oversight. […].The global nuclear detection architecture is a multi-layered system of detection technologies, programs, and guidelines designed to enhance the nation's ability to detect and prevent a radiological or nuclear attack. Among its components are existing programs in nuclear detection operated by other federal agencies and new programs put into place by DNDO. The global nuclear detection architecture is developed by DNDO in coordination with other federal agencies implementing nuclear detection efforts and this coordination is essential to the success of the architecture."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL34574
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