WATCHMAN International Effort to Curb Nuclear Weapons

Read the full UC Davis News article here:

UC Davis Physics Professor Bob Svoboda is helping to lead the project, WATer Cherenkov Monitor of ANtineutrino, with the goal of developing tools to help prevent proliferation of nuclear weapons. In Professor Svoboda's words, "Essentially, the idea is to use antineutrinos from fission to verify if a nuclear reactor is running within a certain radius (dependent upon the reactor power and detector size) without having to directly inspect sites. The ability to make such a verification makes nuclear non-proliferation treaties more attractive as a way to settle disputes.

The WATCHMAN project is a demonstration that this could be done using a commercial reactor in the U.K. and as-yet-untried technology involving doping water with gadolinium compounds to make antineutrino detection efficient and scalable to much larger sizes.

The announcement was picked up and reported by the New York Times: