The Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) is the primary entity in the U.S. government for implementing nuclear detection efforts for a coordinated response to radiological and nuclear threats, as well as integration of federal nuclear forensics programs.
DNDO focuses on increasing detection capabilities in key mission areas as part of a comprehensive strategy to protect against radiological and nuclear threats: At Ports of Entry; Between Ports of Entry; Small Maritime Vessels; General Aviation; and Domestic Interior.
Additionally, DNDO is charged with coordinating the development of the global nuclear detection and reporting architecture, with partners from federal, state, local, and international governments and the private sector.
Directorates within DNDO include:
- National Technical Nuclear Forensics Center—Provides national-level stewardship, centralized planning and integration for an enduring national technical nuclear forensics capability.
- Architecture and Plans Directorate—Determines gaps and vulnerabilities in the existing global nuclear detection architecture, then formulates recommendations and plans to develop an enhanced architecture.
- Product Acquisition & Deployment Directorate—Carries out the engineering development, production, developmental logistics, procurement and deployment of current and next-generation nuclear detection systems.
- Transformational & Applied Research Directorate—Conducts, supports, coordinates, and encourages an aggressive, long-term research and development program to address significant architectural and technical challenges unresolved by R&D efforts on the near horizon.
- Operations Support Directorate—Develops the information sharing and analytical tools necessary to create a fully integrated operating environment. Residing in the Operations Support Directorate is the Joint Analysis Center, which is an interagency coordination and reporting mechanism and central monitoring point for the GNDA.
- Systems Engineering & Evaluation Directorate—Ensures that DNDO proposes sound technical solutions and thoroughly understands systems performance and potential vulnerabilities prior to deploying those technologies.
- Red Team & Net Assessments—Independently assesses the operational performance of planned and deployed capabilities, including technologies, procedures, and protocols.
DNDO was founded in 2005 as a jointly-staffed, national office organized under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) comprised of detailees and liaisons from:
- Department of Energy
- Department of Defense
- Department of Justice/Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Department of State
- Nuclear Regulatory Commission
DNDO also works with and has detailees from other DHS components such as the U.S. Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, Transportation Security Administration, and state and local entities.