Use of Nuclear and Non-nuclear Techniques for Humanitarian Demining and Explosives Detection

Proceedings of an IAEA Technical Meeting

Vienna, 26 –30 November 2007



The IAEA has since 1997 been looking into the potential of nuclear techniques, mainly neutron based techniques, for the detection of landmines and explosives. It has responded to Member State needs by providing interested parties, particularly those in developing countries, with a forum to exchange information on new trends and applications in the detection of landmines, illicit and bulk explosives material. Related activities help Member States find appropriate applications of these nuclear techniques, in areas such as the illegal transport of special nuclear materials (SNMs), which is generally regarded as a major terrorist risk. Several nuclear techniques, such as neutron or gamma backscattering and associated particle methods, are now mature enough to be used in humanitarian demining and contraband detection if combined with other non-nuclear techniques.

This Technical Meeting brought together experts in the field of humanitarian demining techniques and in illicit material detection, as well as representatives of national organizations. The presentations covered a range of experimental tests and case studies which demonstrate the applicability of the techniques.

The meeting was attended by 24 international experts and chaired by G. Nebbia (Italy). Out of 19 oral presentations, covering landmines and explosives detection (10 papers); contraband in cargo (5); undersea unexploded ordnance (1); and miscellaneous topics (3), 15 contributions are included in the proceedings.

The IAEA officer responsible for this publication was F. Mulhauser of the Division of Physical and Chemical Sciences.