The Science and Human Rights Seminar Series presents:
So You Found Some Uranium—Now What?
Christine E. Duval, Assistant Professor
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland OH
Illicit nuclear activities such as the assembly of weapons of mass destruction or radiological dispersal devices (“dirty bombs”) pose a threat to national and world security. National governments and world-wide organizations such as the International Atomic Energy Agency share an interest in monitoring and regulating international nuclear processes and materials. While performing monitoring activities, is it possible to encounter nuclear material that is out of regulatory control (e.g. smuggled or produced illicitly). In order to stop the proliferation pathway and identify the culprit, it is necessary to perform a nuclear forensic analysis. Nuclear forensics involves the examination of radioactive materials, using a variety of analytical techniques, with an end goal of determining the history and origin of the substance. Results of a nuclear forensic analysis guide law-enforcement agencies as they determine “Whodunnit?” This talk will provide an overview of nuclear policy in the United States; identify international and domestic stakeholders; introduce the role of scientists in nuclear forensics; and discuss the response of US and international agencies to interdicted materials.
Christine E. Duval is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Professor Duval’s research group develops advanced materials (resins and membrane adsorbers) for highly selective separations. These materials have applications in nuclear forensics, medical isotope purification and environmental remediation.
Professor Duval received her B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Connecticut in 2011 and her Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Clemson University in 2017. Outside of her academic experiences, she worked as a business consultant at the Connecticut Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation writing business plans for high-tech startup companies. She also served as the director of marketing, and third employee, at Amastan LLC, a Connecticut-based plasma company. Before joining the faculty at Case Western in August 2017, she was a Summer Scholar with the US Department of Energy’s Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence in the Nuclear Materials Information Program.