Nuclear Forensics: History, Selected Cases, Curriculum, Internship and Training Opportunities and Expert Witness Testimony


  • Kelly M Elkins Towson University


Nuclear forensics is the investigation and analysis of the source of nuclear materials for nuclear attribution including trafficking and illegal possession and enrichment of natural materials. Nuclear forensics cases include radionuclide theft, illegal trafficking and possession, loss of nuclear weapons, and poisonings. To prepare forensic chemists to handle materials in these cases and law enforcement to thwart these threats, nuclear forensics courses are offered at United States colleges and universities. In this paper, I report upon the field of nuclear forensics including history and cases, ongoing threats that underscore the need for education, courses offered and topics covered internship and training opportunities, and expert witness testimony in nuclear forensics. A robust reference list of peer-reviews papers, websites, books and book chapters that can be used in such a course is included.


Author Biography

Kelly M Elkins, Towson University

Kelly M. Elkins

Associate Professor of Chemistry

Towson University

Chemistry Department

8000 York Rd

Towson, MD 21252