[United States Statutes at Large, Volume 124, 111th Congress, 2nd Session]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]


Public Law 111-140
111th Congress

An Act


 
To strengthen efforts in the Department of Homeland Security to develop
nuclear forensics capabilities to permit attribution of the source of
nuclear material, and for other purposes. <>

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled, <>
SECTION 1. <> SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ``Nuclear Forensics and Attribution
Act''.
SEC. 2. <> FINDINGS.

Congress finds the following:
(1) The threat of a nuclear terrorist attack on American
interests, both domestic and abroad, is one of the most serious
threats to the national security of the United States. In the
wake of an attack, attribution of responsibility would be of
utmost importance. Because of the destructive power of a nuclear
weapon, there could be little forensic evidence except the
radioactive material in the weapon itself.
(2) Through advanced nuclear forensics, using both existing
techniques and those under development, it may be possible to
identify the source and pathway of a weapon or material after it
is interdicted or detonated. Though identifying intercepted
smuggled material is now possible in some cases, pre-detonation
forensics is a relatively undeveloped field. The post-detonation
nuclear forensics field is also immature, and the challenges are
compounded by the pressures and time constraints of performing
forensics after a nuclear or radiological attack.
(3) A robust and well-known capability to identify the
source of nuclear or radiological material intended for or used
in an act of terror could also deter prospective proliferators.
Furthermore, the threat of effective attribution could compel
improved security at material storage facilities, preventing the
unwitting transfer of nuclear or radiological materials.
(4)(A) In order to identify special nuclear material and
other radioactive materials confidently, it is necessary to have
a robust capability to acquire samples in a timely manner,
analyze and characterize samples, and compare samples against
known signatures of nuclear and radiological material.
(B) Many of the radioisotopes produced in the detonation of
a nuclear device have short half-lives, so the timely
acquisition of samples is of the utmost importance. Over the
past several decades, the ability of the United States to gather

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atmospheric samples--often the preferred method of sample
acquisition--has diminished. This ability must be restored and
modern techniques that could complement or replace existing
techniques should be pursued.
(C) The discipline of pre-detonation forensics is a
relatively undeveloped field. The radiation associated with a
nuclear or radiological device may affect traditional forensics
techniques in unknown ways. In a post-detonation scenario,
radiochemistry may provide the most useful tools for analysis
and characterization of samples. The number of radiochemistry
programs and radiochemists in United States National
Laboratories and universities has dramatically declined over the
past several decades. The narrowing pipeline of qualified people
into this critical field is a serious impediment to maintaining
a robust and credible nuclear forensics program.
(5) Once samples have been acquired and characterized, it is
necessary to compare the results against samples of known
material from reactors, weapons, and enrichment facilities, and
from medical, academic, commercial, and other facilities
containing such materials, throughout the world. Some of these
samples are available to the International Atomic Energy Agency
through safeguards agreements, and some countries maintain
internal sample databases. Access to samples in many countries
is limited by national security concerns.
(6) In order to create a sufficient deterrent, it is
necessary to have the capability to positively identify the
source of nuclear or radiological material, and potential
traffickers in nuclear or radiological material must be aware of
that capability. International cooperation may be essential to
catalogue all existing sources of nuclear or radiological
material.
SEC. 3. SENSE OF CONGRESS ON INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS FOR
FORENSICS COOPERATION.

It is the sense of the Congress that the President should--
(1) pursue bilateral and multilateral international
agreements to establish, or seek to establish under the auspices
of existing bilateral or multilateral agreements, an
international framework for determining the source of any
confiscated nuclear or radiological material or weapon, as well
as the source of any detonated weapon and the nuclear or
radiological material used in such a weapon;
(2) develop protocols for the data exchange and
dissemination of sensitive information relating to nuclear or
radiological materials and samples of controlled nuclear or
radiological materials, to the extent required by the agreements
entered into under paragraph (1); and
(3) develop expedited protocols for the data exchange and
dissemination of sensitive information needed to publicly
identify the source of a nuclear detonation.
SEC. 4. RESPONSIBILITIES OF DOMESTIC NUCLEAR DETECTION OFFICE.

(a) Additional Responsibilities.--Section 1902 of the Homeland
Security Act of 2002 (as redesignated by Public Law 110-53; 6 U.S.C.
592) is amended--
(1) in subsection (a)--
(A) in paragraph (9), by striking ``and'' after the
semicolon;

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(B) by redesignating paragraph (10) as paragraph
(14); and
(C) by inserting after paragraph (9) the following:
``(10) lead the development and implementation of the
national strategic five-year plan for improving the nuclear
forensic and attribution capabilities of the United States
required under section 1036 of the National Defense
Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010;
``(11) <> establish, within the
Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, the National Technical
Nuclear Forensics Center to provide centralized stewardship,
planning, assessment, gap analysis, exercises, improvement, and
integration for all Federal nuclear forensics and attribution
activities--
``(A) to ensure an enduring national technical
nuclear forensics capability to strengthen the
collective response of the United States to nuclear
terrorism or other nuclear attacks; and
``(B) to coordinate and implement the national
strategic five-year plan referred to in paragraph (10);
``(12) <> establish a
National Nuclear Forensics Expertise Development Program,
which--
``(A) is devoted to developing and maintaining a
vibrant and enduring academic pathway from undergraduate
to post-doctorate study in nuclear and geochemical
science specialties directly relevant to technical
nuclear forensics, including radiochemistry,
geochemistry, nuclear physics, nuclear engineering,
materials science, and analytical chemistry;
``(B) shall--
``(i) make available for undergraduate study
student scholarships, with a duration of up to 4
years per student, which shall include, if
possible, at least 1 summer internship at a
national laboratory or appropriate Federal agency
in the field of technical nuclear forensics during
the course of the student's undergraduate career;
``(ii) make available for doctoral study
student fellowships, with a duration of up to 5
years per student, which shall--
``(I) include, if possible, at least
2 summer internships at a national
laboratory or appropriate Federal agency
in the field of technical nuclear
forensics during the course of the
student's graduate career; and
``(II) require each recipient to
commit to serve for 2 years in a post-
doctoral position in a technical nuclear
forensics-related specialty at a
national laboratory or appropriate
Federal agency after graduation;
``(iii) make available to faculty awards, with
a duration of 3 to 5 years each, to ensure faculty
and their graduate students have a sustained
funding stream; and
``(iv) place a particular emphasis on
reinvigorating technical nuclear forensics
programs while encouraging the participation of
undergraduate students, graduate students, and
university faculty from historically Black

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colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving
institutions, Tribal Colleges and Universities,
Asian American and Native American Pacific
Islander-serving institutions, Alaska Native-
serving institutions, and Hawaiian Native-serving
institutions; and
``(C) shall--
``(i) provide for the selection of individuals
to receive scholarships or fellowships under this
section through a competitive process primarily on
the basis of academic merit and the nuclear
forensics and attribution needs of the United
States Government;
``(ii) provide for the setting aside of up to
10 percent of the scholarships or fellowships
awarded under this section for individuals who are
Federal employees to enhance the education of such
employees in areas of critical nuclear forensics
and attribution needs of the United States
Government, for doctoral education under the
scholarship on a full-time or part-time basis;
``(iii) provide that the Secretary may enter
into a contractual agreement with an institution
of higher education under which the amounts
provided for a scholarship under this section for
tuition, fees, and other authorized expenses are
paid directly to the institution with respect to
which such scholarship is awarded;
``(iv) require scholarship recipients to
maintain satisfactory academic progress; and
``(v) require that--
``(I) a scholarship recipient who
fails to maintain a high level of
academic standing, as defined by the
Secretary, who is dismissed for
disciplinary reasons from the
educational institution such recipient
is attending, or who voluntarily
terminates academic training before
graduation from the educational program
for which the scholarship was awarded
shall be liable to the United States for
repayment within 1 year after the date
of such default of all scholarship funds
paid to such recipient and to the
institution of higher education on the
behalf of such recipient, provided that
the repayment period may be extended by
the Secretary if the Secretary
determines it necessary, as established
by regulation; and
``(II) a scholarship recipient who,
for any reason except death or
disability, fails to begin or complete
the post-doctoral service requirements
in a technical nuclear forensics-related
specialty at a national laboratory or
appropriate Federal agency after
completion of academic training shall be
liable to the United States for an
amount equal to--
``(aa) the total amount of
the scholarship received by such
recipient under this section;
and
``(bb) the interest on such
amounts which would be payable
if at the time the scholarship
was received such scholarship
was a loan

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bearing interest at the maximum
legally prevailing rate;
``(13) <> provide an annual report
to Congress on the activities carried out under paragraphs (10),
(11), and (12); and''; and
(2) by adding at the end the following new subsection:

``(b) Definitions.--In this section:
``(1) Alaska native-serving institution.--The term `Alaska
Native-serving institution' has the meaning given the term in
section 317 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C.
1059d).
``(2) Asian american and native american pacific islander-
serving institution.--The term `Asian American and Native
American Pacific Islander-serving institution' has the meaning
given the term in section 320 of the Higher Education Act of
1965 (20 U.S.C. 1059g).
``(3) Hawaiian native-serving institution.--The term
`Hawaiian native-serving institution' has the meaning given the
term in section 317 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20
U.S.C. 1059d).
``(4) Hispanic-serving institution.--The term `Hispanic-
serving institution' has the meaning given that term in section
502 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1101a).
``(5) Historically black college or university.--The term
`historically Black college or university' has the meaning given
the term `part B institution' in section 322(2) of the Higher
Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1061(2)).
``(6) Tribal college or university.--The term `Tribal
College or University' has the meaning given that term in
section 316(b) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C.
1059c(b)).''.

(b) Joint Interagency Annual Reporting Requirement to Congress and
the President.--
(1) In general.--Section 1907(a)(1) of the Homeland Security
Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 596a(a)(1)) is amended--
(A) in subparagraph (A)(ii), by striking ``; and''
and inserting a semicolon;
(B) in subparagraph (B)(iii), by striking the period
at the end and inserting ``; and''; and
(C) by adding at the end the following new
subparagraph:
``(C) the Director of the Domestic Nuclear Detection
Office and each of the relevant departments that are
partners in the National Technical Forensics Center--
``(i) include, as part of the assessments,
evaluations, and reviews required under this
paragraph, each office's or department's
activities and investments in support of nuclear
forensics and attribution activities and specific
goals and objectives accomplished during the
previous year pursuant to the national strategic
five-year plan for improving the nuclear forensic
and attribution capabilities of the United States
required under section 1036 of the National
Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010;
``(ii) attaches, as an appendix to the Joint
Interagency Annual Review, the most current
version of such strategy and plan; and

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``(iii) includes a description of new or
amended bilateral and multilateral agreements and
efforts in support of nuclear forensics and
attribution activities accomplished during the
previous year.''.

Approved February 16, 2010.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 730:
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CONGRESSIONAL RECORD:
Vol. 155 (2009):
Mar. 24, considered and passed
House.
Dec. 23, considered and passed
Senate, amended.
Vol. 156 (2010):
Jan. 20, 21, House considered and
concurred in Senate
amendment.