The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
will solicit applications
for R & D to conduct research and development to enhance U.S. national
and reduce the global danger from the proliferation of weapons of mass
destruction and special nuclear materials. It is anticipated that a
opportunity announcement will be released on or about April 9, 2004 and
period of performance for awards will be 3 years.
The objective of the funding opportunity announcement will be to advance
scientific foundations in physics, engineering, computational modeling,
material science to support the nonproliferation research community apos;s
capability to develop new systems and concepts.
The NNSA program administering this funding opportunity announcement for
Year 2004 is the Office of Non-Proliferation Research and Engineering
The Office of Non-Proliferation Research and Engineering works with the
national laboratories, other U.S. government agencies, universities, and
private industries to reduce threats to national security and world peace
by nuclear weapons proliferation and illicit material trafficking and
in fulfilling U.S. commitments for treaty monitoring through the
technology. The office develops applicable technologies, demonstrates and
validates fieldable prototypes, and, in the treaty monitoring area,
actual operational hardware and software. Most of the technologies
are intended to support the operational needs of other U.S. government
agencies. The office also provides the science and technology base that
enables other DOE national security organizations to accomplish their
Topical Areas of Interest:
There are four (4) topical areas of interest:
- Detection of shielded fissile materials (in transit and/or storage
- Materials and concepts for neutron detection and spectroscopy.
- New sample preparation methods for radiochemical analysis.
- Ultra-low background approaches for ultra-sensitive laboratory detection
Research applications are sought from Universities for work scopes that
produce significant scientific results on detection and/or monitoring
at the end of three (3) years. A measure of scientific performance must
stated in the application and will be a key factor in the selection
1. Detection of Shielded Fissile Material
Applications are sought for either active or passive concepts to
improve the ability to detect fissile materials in either transit or
scenarios, including when associated with significant shielding materials
Concepts must consider potential interference from other intervening
the residual effects from commonly available shielding materials, and the
possible interference from explosives.
Applications need not be limited to concepts based on the detection of the
radioactive emissions from these isotopic materials. Alternative
approaches include application of non-nuclear effects such as gravity and
density, coded aperture imaging of emissions, and using cosmic ray-induced
interactions to distinguish fissile material from background.
2. Materials and Concepts for Neutron Detection and Spectroscopy
Applications are sought for materials and concepts for the detection (and
imaging) of neutrons of energies less than 10 MeV. For this purpose,
performance is expected to be similar to current He-3 systems. There is a
for detection concepts that can resolve the energies of incident neutrons,
e.g., those associated with photofission reactions of special nuclear
Technical approaches of interest include those based on nanomaterials and
concepts; scintillators; and large area detectors using organic materials.
3. New Sample Preparation for Radiochemical Analysis
Applications are sought for radiochemistry concepts that can achieve the
performance of mass spectroscopy (MS) yet do not require the sample
and handling methods typical of MS. The focus is on developing
novel/alternative instrumentation for measurement of trace quantities of
actinide isotopes. Methods of interest are those that do not use
mass spectrometry instrumentation, optical spectroscopy, or radiation
Preference will be given to measurement techniques that can analyze
without creating chemical waste products.
Laser ablation (LA) promises to be a significant technology for accurate
sensitive analysis of trace contaminants/impurities in solid samples.
ablation can be utilized for field or remote analysis by spectroscopically
interrogating a microplasma at the sample surface (e.g. LIBS). Also,
ablation can be utilized with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry
(LA-ICP-MS) or Ion-Trap Mass Spectroscopy (ITMS) for ultrasensitive
analysis. A benefit of the LA technology is rapid, direct chemical
characterization of solid samples without laborious dissolution
Fundamental and applied issues that currently limit the usefulness and
acceptability of LA for routine chemical analyses include fractionation
laser ablation, during aerosol-vapor transfer, and in the ICP), detection
ablated atoms/ions, and calibration. Research is needed in these areas to
improve limits of detection, sampling precision, accuracy, matrix
and calibration strategies. Areas of interest include, but are not
short-pulse ablation, wavelength effects, fluence and irradiance,
efficiency, and particle size distribution and optimization.
4. Ultra-Low Background Approaches for Ultra-Sensitive Laboratory
There is a growing need for ultra-trace analysis of radioisotopes. The
availability of low-background facilities using mines and other
facilities is constrained. Replacement of these facilities is costly and
convenient for long-term research and operational users. Successful
applications will challenge conventional techniques such as use of
War II steel and other radioisotope-free construction materials.
Applications are sought for the creative use and design of detector
combined as needed with shielding concepts, to construct a demonstration
for significantly reducing background radioactivity for gamma-ray
spectroscopy. Technical approaches of interest include, but are not
to, those using coincidence counting; advanced electronics, and new
techniques for shielding materials.
Responses will be requested from academic institutions only. NNSA is
restricting eligibility in order to diversify the mix of organizations
on the Office of Non-Proliferation Research and Engineering programs.
Currently the main organizations working on these detection programs are
NNSA National Laboratories and small businesses. By increasing academia
in meeting its programmatic missions, NA-22 fulfills Congressional
broaden their sources for their R & D studies, gets a different
solving its R & D goals, gets cost effective and integrated
meeting its R & D goals, increases the number of graduate studies and
students working on its requirements and diversifies the types of
working on their programs.
Teaming is not required. Cost sharing/matching is not required.
NNSA reserves the right to fund, in whole or in part, any, all or none of
applications and to award without discussions. The topics in this Notice
Interest represent the maximum set of topics that may appear in the
opportunity announcement. The final number of topics and awards, however,
subject to the availability of funds.
Who can apply:
Eligible functional categories:
Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Research
here to view the Opportunity
If you have problems accessing the full announcement, please contact:
If you have problems accessing the full announcement, please contact:
PO BOX 5400 Albuquerque, NM