posted on Jan, 6 2015 @ 04:08 AM
If you're interested in nuclear detection (and espionage) I'd highly recommend a book called Spying on the Bomb by Jeffrey T Richelson. It's really
scientifically and historically comprehensive, describing detection methods from WWII to present day in North Korea and Iran. Obviously it's not
going to blow your mind with classified science, but when I read it I found it a great introduction to the different detection techniques, and the
incredible difficulties and uncertainties that go with it.
As Maxatoria says, there is considerable background radiation everywhere so using that as a primary detection tool isn't much use. Interestingly (and
coincidentally) the place in the world with the highest background radiation is .... in Iran!
However there are other methods of detection, as there are different types of radiation. Additionally a lot of the detection comes from searching for
specific isotopes that are created at various stages of enrichment and weapons production rather than the radiation itself (IIRC).
Iran allows inspections by the IAEA who go in periodically to weigh their Uranium supplies and count in and out their centrifuges. Additionally
certain areas of the Iranian enrichment facilities are under 24 hour CCTV broadcast straight back to the IAEA. I quite like the idea that maybe the
RQ-170 has some nuclear detection equipment onboard but I'm more inclined to think its just more of an eyes-in-the-skies type of surveillance rather
than direct detection. We know that the drone was used for aerial surveillance in the capture of Osama Bin Laden, so unless it has interchangeable
sensor pods I think its probably watching the enrichment facilities. Also there is always the possibility that Iran hasn't declared all their
facilities so perhaps the drones are being used to spy on various industrial complexes from the sky to determine if any enrichment is going on there.