"Use of Open Source Information and Commercial Satellite Imagery for Nuclear Nonproliferation Regime Compliance Verification by a Community of Academics,"
Ph.D. Dissertation, Texas A&M University, August 2007.
The proliferation of nuclear weapons is a great threat to world
peace and stability. The question of strengthening the
nonproliferation regime has been open for a long period of time. In
1997 the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of
Governors (BOG) adopted the Additional Safeguards Protocol. The
purpose of the protocol is to enhance the IAEA's ability to detect
undeclared production of fissile materials in member states.
However, the IAEA does not always have sufficient human and
financial resources to accomplish this task. Developed here is a
concept for making use of human and technical resources available
in academia that could be used to enhance the IAEA's mission.
The objective of this research was to study the feasibility of
an academic community using commercially or publicly
available sources of information and products for the purpose of
detecting covert facilities and activities intended for the
unlawful acquisition of fissile materials or production of nuclear
weapons. In this study, the availability and use of commercial
satellite imagery systems, commercial computer codes for satellite
imagery analysis, Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) verification
International Monitoring System (IMS), publicly available
information sources such as watchdog groups and press reports, and
Customs Services information were explored. A system for
integrating these data sources to form conclusions was also
developed. The results proved that publicly and commercially
available sources of information and data analysis can be a
powerful tool in tracking violations in the international nuclear
nonproliferation regime and a framework for implementing these
tools in academic community was developed.
As a result of this study a formation of an International
Nonproliferation Monitoring Academic Community (INMAC) is proposed.
This would be an independent organization consisting of academics
(faculty, staff and students) from both nuclear weapon states (NWS)
and non-nuclear weapon states (NNWS). This community analyzes all
types of unclassified publicly and commercially available
information to aid in detection of violations of the
non-proliferation regime. INMAC shares all of this information with
the IAEA and the public. Since INMAC is composed solely by
members of the academic community, this organization would not
demonstrate any biases in its investigations or reporting.