NERV (formally Special Duty Organization NERV) is an international paramilitary organization funded by the United Nations and charged with combating the Angels to prevent the Third Impact. Although appearing under the control of the United Nations, NERV actually reports to SEELE's Human Instrumentality Committee (and later to SEELE directly). The United Nations has no control or knowledge of NERV's true intentions.
Formed in 2010 after the dismantling of Gehirn (the investigative/research organization of the Human Instrumentality Committee), NERV Headquarters is located directly under the fortress city of New Tokyo-3, in a massive subterranean spherical cavity called the Geo Front. Research and development on Evangelion Unit-00 and Evangelion Unit-01 was conducted here.
There are four NERV installations around the world:
Most of NERV's staff is unaware of the organization's true intentions, and the public knows even less. Headed by Commander Gendo Ikari, NERV's objective as dictated by SEELE is to execute the Human Instrumentality Project. The destruction of the Angels is just a necessary obstacle to that end.
Under the leadership of Gendo Ikari however, NERV eventually rebels against SEELE and their version of the Human Instrumentality Project, and as a result is attacked and destroyed by the Strategic Self Defense Force as seen in The End of Evangelion.
Based on Neon Genesis Evangelion Platinum: 06 DVD Booklet
NERV remains mostly unchanged in the 2008 feature film Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone, though in several scenes, the traditional NERV leaf logo is replaced with a more elaborate version of a leaf superimposed on an upside-down apple. This version is rare even in the film, and the majority of NERV signs still display the traditional leaf.
The representation of Central and Terminal Dogma is by far the most significant change to NERV Headquarters. When Misato leads Shinji into Terminal Dogma in order to convince him to pilot Evangelion Unit-01, they travel though an enormous organic cavity, something not seen in the original series. This is because they are travelling through the insides of the Black Moon, which is after all, an alien egg.