Deliverable Eight: An Assessment of Existing Approaches for Warhead Authentication

Prepared By:
Working Group 3



Working Group 3, co-chaired by Sweden and the United States, sought to identify solutions for key technical challenges related to monitoring nuclear disarmament, particularly issues relating to nuclear warhead authentication. The group was tasked with assessing existing approaches for warhead authentication, including the technologies and systems that support attribute measurements and templates and an outline of other techniques that could increase confidence that something is, in fact, a nuclear warhead.

Final Documents

The summary of this assessment and three final technology matrices that comprise this deliverable can be downloaded below:

Supporting Documents

For more information, you can read the relevant supporting background documents, including:

SNM Technology Data Sheets:

  1. Calorimetry
  2. High-Resolution Gamma-ray Spectroscopy
  3. Gamma-ray Imaging
  4. Passive Neutron Counting
  5. Pulsed Neutron Interrogation
  6. Active Neutron Interrogation
  7. Fast Neutron Imaging
  8. Muon Tomography
  9. Radiation Templates
  10. Nuclear Resonance Fluorescence

HE Monitoring Technology Data Sheets:

  1. X-ray Computed Tomography
  2. Fast Neutron Interrogation
  3. Nuclear Quadrupole Resonance (NQR)-Explosive Identification System
  4. Raman Explosive Identification System
  5. X-ray Backscattering Imaging
  6. X-ray Diffraction
  7. Nuclear Resonance Fluorescence

*The term “Nuclear Explosive Device,” (NED) is used to refer to the item subject to monitoring and inspection activities. The term “NED” was used to address specific technical considerations related to the definition of a nuclear weapon that arose during discussions among experts. Other products produced by the Partnership use the more generic term “nuclear weapon.” The latter usage is devoid of any specific technical meaning and relies on a general understanding of the term.


Photo: Petr Pavlicek / IAEA