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NTI Awards Two Grants to Improve Nuclear Security Conditions Worldwide

April 9, 2019

The Nuclear Threat Initiative is announcing the winners of the NTI Nuclear Security Index Challenge, an effort to inspire innovative ways to communicate or apply data to help improve nuclear security conditions around the world. Two grants of approximately $50,000 each have been awarded to:


  • Travis Carless (RAND Corporation), Kenneth Redus (Pittsburgh Technical), and Sola Talabi (Pittsburgh Technical) for their proposal, Estimating Nuclear Proliferation Risks associated with the Introduction of Nuclear Power into Emerging Markets. This project will use NTI Index data to help experts to quantify nuclear security risks of Generation III and IV nuclear power plants in emerging markets.
  • Carlos Soto, Shinjae Yoo, and Yonggang Cui from Brookhaven National Laboratory for their proposal titled Towards a Predictive Nuclear Security Threat Model, which aims to create a predictive nuclear security threat model by integrating NTI Index data into machine learning and sentiment analysis.


Designed to prompt new, explorative approaches to using NTI Nuclear Security Index data, the NTI Index Challenge invited proposals from students, professors, researchers, and advocates. The two winning teams will draw on the Nuclear Security Index results from 2012 to 2018 to produce academic and policy insights that will improve the understanding and security of nuclear materials and facilities around the world.

NTI awarded the grants based upon the centrality of the NTI Index data in the project, the creativity and feasibility of the method proposed, the focus on key nuclear security challenges and policy issues, and the project’s ability to reach its target audience.

In addition to the grants, NTI will award multiple prizes totaling $5,000, $3,000, and $1,000 for completed, creative uses of the NTI Index data, which could include robust new data analysis, curricula, infographics, apps, games, or other new tools and research. NTI welcomes submissions until May 6, 2019.


About the NTI Nuclear Security Index

The NTI Nuclear Security Index is a unique public assessment of the world’s nuclear security conditions, evaluating the security around some of the world’s deadliest materials (highly enriched uranium and plutonium that can be used to build nuclear weapons), as well as the security of nuclear facilities, which, if sabotaged, could lead to dangerous releases of radiation. Since the first edition was released in 2012, it has sparked global discussions about priorities to strengthen security and encouraged governments to take action. In September 2018, NTI released the fourth edition of the NTI Nuclear Materials Security Index; the fifth edition is expected to be published in 2020.


About NTI

The Nuclear Threat Initiative works to protect our lives, environment, and quality of life now and for future generations. We work to prevent catastrophic attacks with weapons of mass destruction and disruption (WMDD)—nuclear, biological, radiological, chemical, and cyber. For more information, visit www.nti.org.