White captures second award for nuclear forensics work

Lab physicist Roger White (Download Image)

Lab physicist Roger White has received an award from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency ( DTRA ) for his work in post-detonation nuclear forensics.

For the second time, Lab physicist Roger White, a designer in B-Division from the Weapons and Complex Integration (WCI) Directorate, has received an award from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) for his work in post-detonation nuclear forensics.

White was named the "top contributor of the quarter" for the third quarter of the fiscal year 2013 (April-June, 2013) for leading a 55-person multi-lab/agency research event "red team" that successfully developed and executed a simulated terrorist nuclear event in the United States.

Funded by DTRA, this event was the second of three elements intended to demonstrate the feasibility of a United States capability to obtain ground-based, prompt diagnostics phenomena that can be used by forensics designers to help reconstruct, for example, information about a terrorist-detonated nuclear device.

Working with speed-of-light signals, radiochemical analysis of nuclear debris and advanced speed-of-sound technology, the program goals are to reduce the timeline for scientists to reconstruct what happened and improve the capability of technical nuclear forensics to help in attribution if such an event were to occur.

"Teams from the Global Security, WCI and Physical and Life Sciences directorates of Lawrence Livermore as well as contributors from Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories, the Air Force Technical Applications Center, Applied Research Associates, and Weston Geophysical are to be commended for their outstanding teamwork on a very complex effort that yielded highly successful results," according to White.

"The vision, leadership and program management of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and their support have allowed these teams to achieve a remarkable, integrated capability in a relative short period of time and at a minimum cost," White said.

In addition to White, the Livermore development team includes radiochemist Yves Dardenne, physicists Britton Chang and Mark May, computer scientist Steve Anderson, engineer Craig Halvorson, seismologist Artie Rodgers and technical nuclear forensics program manager Alan Ross.

Beyond White's two awards, another Lab employee also has won a DTRA award. Artie Rodgers was named the "top contributor of the quarter" for the first quarter of fiscal year 2012 (October-December 2011) for a forensic analysis project.