Washington: The US government is slowly losing its ability to investigate a nuclear blast and quickly determine who was responsible and whether more bombs are out there, experts said in a report released Friday.
While the nation has a vast web of nuclear labs, equipment and experienced personnel, those resources are focused more on managing the weapons stockpile and less on how to analyse the aftermath of a bombing, according to the report by the National Research Council.
"Although US nuclear forensics capabilities are substantial and can be improved, right now they are fragile, under resourced, and, in some respects, deteriorating," said the council, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences.
"Without strong leadership, careful planning and additional resources, these capabilities will decline."
In order to maintain and improve its ability to answer questions that would follow a nuclear blast, authorities must begin to pour more personnel and resources into the forensics program, the report said.
The study found that several of the nation`s forensic facilities are old and outdated and were not built to meet current safety standards.