Joint Research Centre - European Commission

The European Commission's in-house science service
European Commission


Illicit trafficking of nuclear materials. New forensic analysis released on Germany's 1940's nuclear programme

The European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) has today released details of nuclear forensic work carried out on samples dating back to the early days of the technology's history: from Germany's World War II Programme.

The JRC's Institute for Transuranium Elements (ITU) in Karlsruhe, Germany cooperates with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the control of nuclear materials and facilities. The IAEA is charged with verifying that states live up to their international obligations in the area of nuclear non-proliferation. This includes not diverting nuclear material or using facilities for the development of nuclear weapons. The Joint Research Centre has provided scientific and technical support to this work for over a quarter of a century, with over 100 scientists and technicians (so-called Atomic Detectives) working on more than 25 projects.