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National Security Programs


National security extends beyond our borders, when it is important to secure resources internationally and domestically.

That is where Argonne’s expertise in nonproliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons comes in. Born out of the World War II-era Manhattan Project, Argonne combines technical expertise with specialized knowledge of nonproliferation policy to safeguard materials, equipment and technology. 

Focusing on National Security

The Laboratory’s work in nonproliferation pursues multiple strategies aimed at stopping the spread of all nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction. A primary goal for scientists is to minimize the availability of weapons materials and apply international standards for safeguarding nuclear material and nuclear facilities. To achieve this, Argonne’s nuclear engineers are developing technologies for civilian facilities that currently use high-enriched uranium and convert them to use low-enriched uranium. 

Collaborating for Results 

Argonne also provides leading expertise on the proliferation risk of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. Through international collaboration, scientists are developing technologies and techniques for monitoring weapons and sensitive materials around the world. This includes support for the International Atomic Energy Association’s Export-Important Information Training Couse. Instructor’s from Argonne’s Safeguards Research Program support this training twice per year. 

Achieving Success

Argonne and the NNSA, in collaboration with international partners, have worked to convert nuclear facilities to use low-enriched uranium fuel. To date, they have converted 69 research reactors and one isotope production facility to low-grade fuel which cannot be used to create nuclear weapons. 


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