Disarmament inspections in virtual reality – a digital implementation of the nuclear disarmament verification exercise NuDiVe

Simon Hebel - Universitat Hamburg
Matthias Kuhr - Hamburg University of Applied Sciences
Marvin Bandixen - Universitat Hamburg
Helge Zellermann - Universitat Hamburg
Roland Greule - Hamburg University of Applied Sciences
Gerald Kirchner - Universitat Hamburg

Verifying nuclear disarmament will require a complex inspection regime balancing the inspectors’ need for transparency and the inspected state’s security concerns. An integral part of developing such a regime are practical exercises to demonstrate and evaluate the inspection procedures in a realistic environment. Recently, the nuclear disarmament exercise NuDiVe organised by France and Germany implemented and demonstrated the inspection of a nuclear warhead dismantlement in the format of an adversarial role-play. To increase the accessibility and broaden the scope of disarmament verification exercises, it was decided to develop a digital version of NuDiVe employing virtual reality. This software will enable users to exercise specific procedures or even a complete dismantlement inspection in distributed roles with up to 16 participants locally or over the internet. It is set to include the essential verification technologies including sealing, handheld and portal radiation monitors and a dynamic CCTV surveillance system. Particular care is taken to simulate the realistic behaviour of gamma and neutron detectors in the presence of declared or concealed radioactive sources. The software provides a platform to easily realise different inspection scenarios and locations without the need to organise and conduct a full-scale physical exercise. This paper will outline the scope and features of the virtual reality software and provide details on the implementation of the virtual radiation detectors.