The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a system of radiation monitors in place throughout the United States. These monitors were designed to detect radionuclides released after a nuclear weapon detonation. To detect a nuclear weapon, radiation detectors are used to measure radiation emissions. However, these detectors are not always able to measure far enough, close enough, or unshielded in the way needed.
This is especially true in urban environments. Let's consider a scenario in which a nuclear weapon is in a vehicle driving on a street. Scanning vehicles with detectors placed next to roads or in overpasses only provides a couple of seconds of measurement per vehicle and the load surrounding the weapon, as well as the vehicle itself, provides some protection. This can be addressed through improved radiological and nuclear detection devices and procedures.Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb, proposed to Congress a reliable means of detecting nuclear weapons inside a suitcase destined to be detonated in an American city. He and other nuclear detectives are devising new sensors, fabricating artificial consequences to perfect analytical techniques, and studying how the glass formed in the furnace of an atomic explosion would vary depending on the nature of the bomb and the city where it detonated. The 1963 Limited Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty ended atmospheric testing for the United States, Great Britain and the Soviet Union, but two major non-signatories, France and China, continued nuclear testing at a rate of approximately 5 megatons per year.
The detection of radiological and nuclear material is an invaluable part of the overall strategy in preventing illicit trafficking and ensuring safety for citizens. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has proposed testing the effectiveness of new radiological and nuclear detection devices. There have been several proposals to solve the problem of detecting radiological and nuclear material. Of course, DHS would prefer to intercept this nuclear material abroad, but current projects still face problems and cannot guarantee prevention of the spread of nuclear and radiological material. DHS has also proposed testing the effectiveness of new radiological and nuclear detection devices. There are many different ways to detect a nuclear detonation, including seismic, hydroacoustic, infrasonic detection, air sampling, and satellites.
However, concern persists that these methods have too limited a capacity to detect highly enriched uranium, a weakly radioactive material that is easier to use in an improvised nuclear device. In conclusion, improved radiological and nuclear detection devices are necessary for detecting nuclear weapons in urban environments. The Department of Homeland Security is currently testing new devices to improve detection capabilities. Additionally, there are many different ways to detect a nuclear detonation that can be used in combination with improved devices.