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National Security Directorate

Physical Protection Implementation

Physical Protection graphic

Protecting our nation's critical infrastructure through expertise in nuclear safeguards and security, physical security systems design and testing, tactical response, and vulnerability assessments


The Physical Protection Implementation group at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is composed of subject matter experts in the field of industrial and nuclear security and critical infrastructure protection. More specifically, these experts are proficient in physical security systems design, analysis and testing; vulnerability assessments as they pertain to the protection of high value targets and critical assets; and the physical protection of nuclear and other critical assets in all configurations from manufacturing, processing, transportation, storage, and disposal.

The group is also currently providing support to local, state, federal and international agencies, and private industry in the following areas to cover the multiple facets of physical protection from deterrence, denial, detection, response, recapture and recovery:

  • Vulnerability assessments including insider risk analysis
  • Systems evaluations (i.e., vulnerability assessments, diversion path analysis, value-impact analysis, and systems modeling and simulation)
  • Transportation operations and security
  • Explosive blast effects, modeling, testing and evaluation (T&E)
  • Tactical explosive entry
  • Improvised explosive device (IED) recognition and response
  • Physical protection of critical infrastructure components, systems, and facilities
    • Security first responder and response force tactics for interruption, neutralization, recapture, and recovery
  • Security policy development and acceptance criteria
  • Guidance and standards development
  • Evaluations of performance against program criteria and compliance requirements
  • Security system design and operation
  • Integration of safeguards and security programs

Although the majority of expertise comes from military, law enforcement, and Department of Energy backgrounds, the skill set of the group is always in demand. Our experts utilize their skills to assist the DOE, DHS, DOD, NRC, FBI and private industries to assist in the protection of vital assets. In the post 9/11 environment, many critical infrastructure industries such as power plants, oil companies, domestic and international shipping ports are beginning to understand the threat of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and materials proliferation. As a result, they are turning to the same expertise that has been utilized in protecting the nuclear weapons complex and other high security government installations. The Physical Protection Implementation technical group at PNNL has that specific set of skills organized in a manner to provide a comprehensive analysis, and an effective solution set.

Every capability within the group also has a strong training component. A large majority of the group has spent many years developing curriculum in their areas of expertise for both domestic and international audiences. Training expertise ranges from classroom instruction to hands-on skills development. Our trainers are internationally recognized and have developed and taught courses at the US National Training Center, the Russian Methodological and Training Center (RMTC) for nuclear material control and accounting, the Russian Interdepartmental Special Training Center for Physical Protection (ISTC), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and many other organizations.

For more information, contact at (509) 372-4002.

Operational Systems & Technology

National Security Directorate

Technical Capabilities