Preventing the unwanted spread and use of nuclear technology

State-of-the-art solutions to our country’s national security needs

Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) actively protects our nation against the nuclear threats regardless of origin. We exercise unique capabilities in nonproliferation, counterproliferation, and counterterrorism to prevent the unwanted spread and use of nuclear technology. Additionally, we maintain a specialized operational team that is fully prepared for nuclear emergency response.

LANL scientists and researchers have the expertise and ingenuity to address each phase of a nuclear event, from detection, diagnosis, and planning through post-event response, recovery, and forensic analysis. Our analysis spans program and mission activities across the Intelligence Community and the U.S. Departments of Energy and Defense.

Mission   Marquee   Radiation Detection
Scientists at LANL test radiation portal monitors to ensure accuracy and sensitivity.

Rapid Response 

As national threats grow more asymmetric, the ability to immediately respond to nuclear threats is essential.

LANL offers expertise, practical tools, and state-of-the-art technology for our nation’s nuclear counterterrorism, incident response, nuclear forensics, and counterproliferation needs. Our scientists and researchers excel in understanding nuclear threat devices, and our response team helps make the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) the premier technical leader in responding to and resolving nuclear and radiological threats worldwide.

Offsite Source Recovery Program

LANL leads the Offsite Source Recovery Program, which recovers domestic and international sealed radioactive sources in the interest of national security and public safety. Since 1997, we have removed radioactive sealed sources from industrial, educational, healthcare, and government facilities worldwide. LANL staff also support the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with numerous objectives, including missions to conduct national inventories in other countries and the development of national strategies for disused sources.

Decades of Nuclear Safeguards

International nuclear safeguards trace their roots back to LANL in World War II. Since then, much of our safeguards work has focused on preventing nuclear materials from proliferating—and on encouraging peaceful uses of nuclear technology for energy, medical, and other important needs.

Mission   Nuclear Threats   Alexis   960x500
Above is ALEXIS, the first satellite built and operated by LANL (in 1993). Its mission was to demonstrate telescope and radio-receiver technology for nonproliferation applications.

Space-Based Assets

Agile space systems are essential for national security. Our scientists and engineers create data collection and communication systems in response to those needs.

We also conduct research to advance space-based nuclear detonation detection; one example is the Distributed Infrastructure Offering Real-time Access to Modeling and Analysis (DIORAMA), a simulation tool developed in part to conduct nuclear detonation source term modeling, assess weapons outputs and effects in space, and evaluate sensor performance.

Learn more about our recent achievements and research breakthroughs by visiting LANL's Discover site.