LIVERMORE -- When the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is handed the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize Award on Tuesday, chemists at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory will have a vested interest in the proceedings.
The lab is one of only two such laboratories in the country certified by the OPCW -- a multinational organization headquartered in the Netherlands -- to analyze samples for chemical warfare agents under terms of the international Chemical Weapons Convention. The lab's Forensic Science Center oversees the work, is funded by the National Nuclear Security Administration.
"Our OPCW work, along with the efforts of the other 20 laboratories (worldwide), provides an important international security capability by helping to verify and ensure compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention," Brad Hart, head of the Forensic Science Center, said in a news release. "For an international organization like this to succeed, it is necessary to have cutting-edge technology and expertise that provide confidence in the verification process."
The OPCW certified the Forensic Science Center in 2003. To maintain its certification, the center's team of 15 chemists must undergo rigorous annual proficiency tests to detect the presence of chemical agents in samples and maintain high grade averages. Other OPCW-accredited laboratories are located at the Army's Edgewood Chemical Biological Center in Maryland and in other countries around the world.
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