Plutonium (Pu) and highly enriched uranium (HEU), the fissile material that is the sine qua non of nuclear weapons, manifest fingerprints that are unique to the manufacturing processes employed in their creation. Such fingerprints are not as clear as those made famous by the FBI for decades, or as DNA is today, but they are fingerprints, nonetheless. The technical challenge is to develop the processes that will link, beyond reasonable doubt, the fissile material to its manufacturer. If the technical challenges can be met, political challenges lay beyond and must be resolved before the civilized world can be assured that the fissile material that generates a nuclear explosion can be traced to its source, but if it can, many benefits to society will result. Among these are deterrence of potential suppliers, credible delay in reacting to nuclear terrorism, and international cooperation of the highest sort.
Harold Smith holds the appointment of distinguished visiting scholar and professor with the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB), where he focuses on the impact of technology on foreign and defense policy. In 1993, Smith served as assistant to the scretary of defense for nuclear, chemical, and biological defense programs during the Clinton administration. In 1960 he joined the faculty of UCB where he retired as professor and chairman of the Department of Applied Science in 1976. Smith was awarded a White House Fellowship in 1966 and was assigned as a special assistant to the secretary of defense. Since that time, he has served as an advisor to numerous governmental boards on national security policy. Of particular note are his chairmanship of the Vulnerability Task Force of the Defense Science Board and a special study for (then) Secretary of Defense Schlesinger on the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS); i.e. the Smith Report. He has published in the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Wall Street Journal, U.S. News and World Report, and Arms Control Today. He received his PhD in nuclear engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Bill Dunlop is currently a senior scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and has held numerous positions during his career there, including serving as the project manager for strategic missile and defensive weapons systems, the program manager for the development of the W87 warhead for the MX missile, and the program manager for earth penetrator weapons. From 1985 until 1990 he was the division leader overseeing work on thermonuclear weapons development. From January 1994 until December 1995, he served as the technical advisor to the U.S. ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament. The principal activity during this period in the Conference on Disarmament was the negotiation of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. After his return from Geneva, Dunlop resumed the leadership of the Arms Control and Treaty Verification Program, which later was renamed the Proliferation Prevention and Arms Control (PPAC) Program. He continues to work part-time at LLNL where he is involved cargo security issues and defense activities. Dunlop received his BA in physics from the University of Pennsylvania. He received his MS in physics and his PhD in nuclear physics from the Univesity of California, Los Angeles.