"Assessment Tool for Nuclear Material Acquisition Pathways,"
M.S. Thesis, Texas A & M University, December 2008.
An assessment methodology has been developed at Texas A&M
University for predicting weapons useable material acquisition by a
terrorist organization or rogue state based on an acquisition
network simulation. The network has been designed to include all of
the materials, facilities, and expertise (each of which are
represented by a unique node) that must be obtained to acquire
Special Nuclear Material (SNM). Using various historical cases and
open source expert opinion, the resources required to successfully
obtain the goal of every node within the network was determined. A
visual representation of the network was created within Microsoft
Visio and uses Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) to analyze the
network. This tool can be used to predict the most likely
pathway(s) that a predefined organization would take in attempting
to acquire SNM. The methodology uses the resources available to the
organization, along with any of the nodes to which the organization
may already have access, to determine which path the organization
is most likely to attempt. Using this resource based decision
model, various sample simulations were run to exercise the program.
The results of these simulations were in accordance with what was
expected for the resources allocated to the organization being
modeled. The program was demonstrated to show that it was capable
of taking many complex resources considerations into account and
modeled them accurately.
Associated Project(s):Terrorism Pathway Analysis and Assessments