The purpose of the symposium is to engage with the safeguards community and key experts on specific strategic issues likely to impact safeguards implementation in the coming decade. In particular, the 2018 symposium seeks to
1) innovate: by generating new ideas on methods and technologies to substantially improve the IAEA’s technical capabilities and achieve efficiencies in the way it works;
2) partner: by mobilizing partnerships to further explore new ideas, bring innovation into the Department’s work and support safeguards long term research and development needs; and
3) improve: by engaging safeguards practitioners in sharing experiences, building capabilities, and finding ways to streamline, simplify and improve the implementation of safeguards in the field and at headquarters.
To achieve these objectives, the symposium will focus on four thematic tracks. Abstracts are invited to respond to Topics within these four Themes. Key Questions have been provided to further elaborate on the particular issues of interest within each Theme. Click on Scientific Programme to learn more.
The Symposium website can be found here:
Natural disasters, industrial catastrophes and terror acts pose an unpredictable yet significant risk to the lives and prosperity of the world’s population.
The ability of properly assessing these situations, especially in combination with radiological / nuclear (RN) threats, remains a significant challenge.
Several incidents in the past decades (Fukushima, Chernobyl, Asse, Majak, Sellafield) have underlined the need for robotic platforms which can assist operations in scenarios which are hazardous for human personnel to enter.
Since the late 1980s robotic solutions have been utilised in many of the response efforts to these incidents, demonstrating their potential to reduce the risk of loss of life, reduce response times and gather essential data.
Robots can be employed in a wide array of relevant and otherwise potentially dangerous tasks including search and rescue, disrupted area mapping, radiation measurement, structural damage assessment, reconnaissance, and manipulation tasks.
Although robotics research has produced impressive results in general, there is still significant room for improvement with respect to the use of robotics in radiological and nuclear related applications.
One major problem with R&D; in this very specialised field of robotics is the lack of testing possibilities, especially with regards to radiation sources.
Another challenge is to compare various unmanned systems in the field of outdoor robotics. Robotic competitions have become a common means of evaluating the performance of robotic techniques as well as a tool for trend-setting.
ELROB and EnRicH are two successful examples of such outdoor robotics competitions aiming to assess the capabilities of robotic systems in realistic disaster response scenarios.
A newcomer to the scene is the IAEA robotics challenge, held in 2017 for the first time. The event has a slightly different emphasis, however, and focuses mainly on indoor and structured scenarios.
The paper will give detailed insight into these three robotics events that include applications in the RN field.
Keywords: Field Robotics (FR); Radiological and Nuclear (RN); disaster response; robotics competitions; unmanned ground vehicle (UGV); robotics challenges
Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) are becoming increasingly prevalent and have experienced rapid growth due to advancements in navigation and control technology. This has resulted in cost reductions that have seen small, agile UASs emerge as a multi-billion-dollar commercial market. Novel UAS applications for industries and government agencies are created almost on a daily basis. Based on expert assessment, UASs could be used as a platform for the deployment of a variety of monitoring and inspection technologies for IAEA safeguards activities. This project focuses on analyzing the potential of applying UAS technology for safeguards use. This includes an investigation of the current state of readiness and commercial availability of UAS technology with associated detection and monitoring systems mounted on board, potential implications of the introduction of UAS technology on safeguards operational effectiveness and efficiency, and the impact on operations of nuclear facilities. Four applications were selected for in-depth analysis based on the investigators’ consideration of these characteristics, a previous prioritization survey given to safeguards experts, and optimal technical and safeguards application variety. The four applications were collection of detailed site information (site evaluation), survey of mining and concentration activities, verification of container inventory (nuclear material accountancy), and tag/seal verification (containment and surveillance).
IAEA managed access inspections are limited in time and inspector hours, and by the needs (1) to avoid exposure of sensitive information, (2) to minimize impacts on facility operations, and (3) to conserve inspectorate resources. We are developing autonomous, mobile, directionally sensitive neutron sensors ("inspector bots") to support inspectors in detecting undeclared enriched UF6 through (alpha, n) reactions. Applications of interest for IAEA safeguards include support for Limited Frequency Unannounced Access inspections at large gas-centrifuge enrichment plants and use as Unattended Monitoring Systems at UF6 feed stations. Based on previous work of ours that demonstrated significant directional sensitivity of rows of moderated neutron counters, we are constructing a simple, robust one-foot diameter, two-foot high cylinder of polyethylene moderator, containing three one-inch diameter, 50 cm long, boron-coated-straw neutron counters located 120 degrees apart, half-way between the center-line and the surface of the cylinder. This detector system will be mounted on a robotic transport mechanism to form a prototype inspector bot. MCNP studies show that this system provides high sensitivity and remarkable directionality: 0.37 cps per ng of bare Cf-252 at 2 m and 6:1 signal ratio between a counter directly facing the neutron source and each of the two counters at the back. The bot's search algorithm will adjust its heading to maximize the signal in its most active counter and to balance the signals in the two less active counters, thus facilitating smart mapping of neutron fields. A swarm of cooperative inspector bots could efficiently detect undeclared withdrawal stations in very large centrifuge halls. Strategically located individual bots could rapidly detect undeclared enriched UF6 in feed stations.
This work supported by US Department of State Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance, Key Verification Assets Fund.
All over the world stores of waste are kept in steel drums that are crammed in sheds multiples high and deep, often preventing a thorough inspection of the contents of the drums or the use of containment measures like seals. This paper aims to explore robotic systems that can provide a comprehensive and autonomous coverage of such hazardous environments keeping human inspectors out of harm’s way. This is achieved by firstly 3D scanning the entire area in order to create a 3D map that allows 3D positions to be tracked and then using the robotic system to inspect the drums. In this paper, the Data 61 innovation network of Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) proposes two robotic systems, (a) one for the top of the drums to be inspected and (b) the other for an in-layer inspection through pallets.
The Through pallet inspection robot is a small robot that is able to move through the pallets where a forklift’s tines sit in order to gather information. This robot would have to be very narrow (<100mm) and long in order to bridge gaps, and navigate through misaligned pallet sections. Tracked wheels would provide sufficient traction and distributed loading even in the case of slippery and uneven surfaces.
In both of these cases the robots would be tethered so that a reliable communication and data transfer is maintained, and the robots could be pulled back via the tether if anything goes wrong. These systems would have a 3D Lidar to map, localize themselves and gather data, cameras to gather visual information on the pallets and barrels, as well as radiation dosimeters or spectrometers for determining levels of radioactivity and identifying the presence of specific radionuclides. This data would all be stored/viewed from within the 3D point-cloud so that the location information is correctly associated.
These systems of robots will give access to an area that was inaccessible in the past with the potential to assist in both inventory verification inspections and complementary access activities under the additional protocol.
Virtual environments have been successfully used to support a variety of applications relevant to nuclear safeguards, safety, and security, including IAEA inspector training, dose estimates for personnel, and facility evacuation planning. There are two particularly relevant challenges for VR: first, simulating the functionalities of the radiation detection equipment that an inspector might use, ideally in real-time; and, second, enabling interactions with this virtual equipment so that the experience becomes truly immersive and meaningful. In this paper, we report results from a simple inspection exercise in VR that involved two players (host and inspector) that includes modelling real-time radiation fields. We use a hybrid approach combining precomputed radiation signatures and detector response functions based on MCNP Monte Carlo simulations combined with deterministic methods to handle shielding and attenuation effects allowing the movements of sources, detectors, and shielding materials during the exercise.
We make a case for exploring the further potential of VR environments to support innovations in developing facility architectures, nuclear safeguards and verification protocols for treaties that do not yet exist (such as an FMCT) and for future tasks such as establishing verification measures related to weapon-origin fissile materials (as envisaged for material declared excess for weapon purposes) and the application of safeguards to former weapons-related facilities or materials. Virtual environments in particular could make critical contributions to the development of effective inspection protocols without running the risk of exposing proliferation-sensitive or classified information, which would be a plausible concern in inspection trials in physical facilities. Virtual environments can also offer levels of accessibility and flexibility typically much more difficult to achieve in actual facilities, and they can allow for more substantial collaboration amongst research groups and governments working to find solutions to existing verification challenges.
Capacity building is an important area to be continually reinforced in order to maintain the successful operation of an entity or organization. The depletion of capable human resources due to retirement, health and other unavoidable conditions should be addressed. The valuable knowledge and experience could be shared in a certain way with ease of comprehension and information retention. Virtual reality (VR) is one of those tools that can be used in response to the urgent need of capturing the knowledge and experience from relevant resources. In 2016, the Integrated Support Center for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Nuclear Security (ISCN) of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) invested to equip its Center of Excellence with knowledge transfer technology through virtual reality. The ISCN has developed a VR system that provides a three-dimensional computer generated training environment which can be explored and interacted with by a person or individual. Through this VR system, that person becomes part of this virtual world or is immersed within this environment; while being there, the person is able to manipulate objects or perform a series of actions. This paper describes how virtual reality is being used by the ISCN as an effective capacity building tool. It will also describe the approach of how the knowledge and experience for a specific subject matter are conveyed through the use of virtual reality. The effectiveness of the tool had been introduced and used in several occasions during the training course for the State System of Accounting for and Control of Nuclear Material (SSAC), with the benefit from zero exposure to radiation and in a virtually suitable environment for the participants, while learning the safeguards concept and its associated nuclear material verification measures.
Success in nuclear safeguards implementation depends on many factors, from trained staff to an effective regulatory framework to availability of necessary equipment and many other typical infrastructure-related aspects. Often, however, that success depends on long-term commitment and advocacy by a dedicated individual, or a ‘champion.’ While there exists ample literature and technical guidance on safeguards infrastructure, much less has been written on a role of safeguards champions. Who are they? What does it mean to be a safeguards champion? What are the circumstances that lead to the emergence of such champions? What is their impact on building and sustaining effective safeguards in an organization, or even country?
As such individuals retire or pursue other assignments, they leave a void not only in technical knowledge, but also in their unique ability to keep safeguards on the radar of their respective organizations and governments. The constrained resources of most training providers limit their ability to maintain frequent and long-term engagement in countries and necessitate increased reliance on trusted individuals within an organization. These “champions” are equipped not only with technical knowledge but also political and management savvy as well as personal buy-in to promote and sustain safeguards. Rather than relying on luck and chance, a concerted effort to recognize and then develop safeguards champions would help the global community address a critical gap in succession planning and sustainability.
In the past several years, the concept of “organizational champions” has been getting popularized by the organizational development experts and embraced by industries seeking innovative leadership models to advance their causes in an environment of competing priorities and rapid change.
This collaborative paper will explore the leadership concept of a “safeguards champion” and how it can be applied in safeguards-focused teams or organizations globally. The authors will examine existing government and industry practices and gather practical information from influential safeguards leaders in the Asian region. The information in this paper could serve as the basis for future training by national and international training providers, including the IAEA, who aim to address the succession planning and sustainability in partner countries.
This paper considers the efforts of the Integrated Support Center for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Nuclear Security (hereafter ISCN) in support of the Asia Pacific Safeguards Network (hereafter APSN) in supporting the safeguards development in the Asia-Pacific region. In particular, this paper describes ISCN’s activities on behalf of APSN to perform training needs and training provider’s surveys with the objective of facilitating needs analysis, identify potential gaps in the provision of training and assist training providers to optimize their use of existing training capabilities to meet those needs. The baseline training needs and training providers survey conducted by the U.S. DOE/NNSA International Nuclear Safeguards and Engagement Program (INSEP) in 2011 is described and then the follow up survey of 2015, performed by ISCN, and its results is succinctly explained. In 2017 a new survey aimed to countries with Small Quantities Protocols in their safeguards agreements was conducted. The results of this survey and the follow up actions mandated by the APSN are also included in the paper.
The Nuclear Regulatory Authority (ARN) is the national governmental organization in charge of the regulation of nuclear activities in Argentina and is independent of any entity dedicated to the use or the promotion of nuclear energy in any of its forms. ARN was created in 1997 by the National Nuclear Activity Act (Law No. 24.804), which establishes its mission and responsibilities. This autarchic entity within the jurisdiction of the Argentine Presidency has competence on radiological and nuclear safety, physical protection, safeguards and nuclear non-proliferation.
As the authority responsible for safeguards implementation, the ARN attaches great importance to assuring efficient and effective safeguards through robust capabilities of the State System of Accounting for and Control of Nuclear Material (SSAC) and a strong connection with external relevant institutions. To fulfill its mission, ARN is committed to continuously develop its own human capacity and outreach to licensees and relevant stakeholders, assuring a clear understanding of safeguards obligations and responsibilities.
From an international perspective, ARN maintains interaction with several organizations through mechanisms as the Cooperation Protocol with the Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials; the Agreement with the United States Department of Energy concerning research and development in nuclear material control, accountancy, verification, physical protection, and advanced containment and surveillance technologies for international safeguards application; the Argentine Support Programme to the International Atomic Energy Agency. These partnerships foster collaboration in safeguards implementation through tailored training and activities on safeguards approaches, measurement techniques, containment and surveillance, the conduct of domestic/regional inspections and the role of a SSAC in implementing international safeguards, among others.
The paper focuses on ARN’s interfaces in safeguards capacity building activities conducted during the past four years. It describes the experience gained through in-house training, facility operator engagement and collaborative actions within the above-mentioned frameworks, while sharing the lessons learned.
This submission will present the findings of more than 1 year of work at King’s College London to develop a big data platform for non-proliferation analysis. The presentation will present findings around the use of natural language processing, machine translation and other automatic tools for information extraction; advanced visualisation and search techniques for data discovery. The presentation will conclude with recommendations on how such capabilities can complement existing IAEA activities.
The data collected for analysis of safeguards relevant information is complex and heterogeneous in nature, ranging from in-field measurements, satellite imagery, reports, declarations, and other open sources related to a State’s nuclear activities. As part of ongoing IAEA verification activities for nuclear facilities and State evaluations, inspectors and analysts must correlate and analyze these data, which is often a highly manual and time-consuming process, especially with increasing data volume and varying data types, formats, and frequencies.
To help the safeguards inspector and analyst more efficiently review data, we use semantic graphs to intuitively integrate these heterogeneous data, classify safeguards relevant events of interest, and identify anomalies. Low level data and their relationships are generalized and abstracted as graph nodes and edges, incorporating different data sources, all in a single data structure. Multifaceted graphs can be constructed that merge data from different domains, representing relationships that may be physical, temporal, administrative, or even social. For this paper, we use an exemplar of in-field C/S and NDA measurements for a safeguarded nuclear facility and created a model of the movement of nuclear materials in containers and casks. By converting in-field safeguards data into a semantic graph and ingesting into a graph database, we show how semantic queries are used to match our model against clusters of data to identify, segment, and classify patterns in the data that match the profile of a material movement, whether declared or not. That is, the spatiotemporal relationships inherent in safeguards data is analyzed to extract higher order meaning to find patterns in vast amounts of data. Our semantic graph methodology can be applied to ingest data and identify other safeguards relevant events inside nuclear facilities and the State evaluation level to help discover complex and subtle activities.
On 19th April, KIng’s College London in partnership with the Centre for Non-proliferation Studies (CNS) will hold a workshop on new tools and technologies for non-proliferation verification at the Vienna Centre for Non-proliferation and Disarmament in Vienna. This symposium submission will present back the key findings of the seminar, which will focus on advances in remote sensing, collection and management of unstructured data, and multimedia information and data fusion. The presentation will conclude with recommendations on how such capabilities can complement existing IAEA activities.
Collecting and processing open source (OS) information is an important aspect of the IAEA’s mandate to implement safeguards based on all relevant information related to States’ nuclear activities. Since the mid-1990s, the Division of Information Management (SGIM) has been collecting OS information into an internal database, the Open Source Information System (OSIS).
In the early stages, the SGIM collection and review process was predominately manual with classic internet searching, PDF printing, and running scripts for uploading files to the OSIS database. Over time the process has undergone numerous improvements to include elements of automation in order to increase efficiency in an ever-growing stream of open source information. While automation has unarguably been welcome for many of the processing steps, it has been essential to keep the analyst involved at key decision-making points such as judging information for relevance, categorization, and further distribution.
With the technological advancement of computing and machine learning during the past five years however, more options for additional automation of data processing have become available. In 2016, SGIM embarked on a project to integrate and further automate the continuous monitoring, collection, and processing of OS information.
This paper describes the process that culminated in the launch in early 2018 of OSIS 2.0, an in-house developed tool that has provided numerous improvements, including: automation of manual steps of collecting and formatting files; creation of a centralized space for analysts to collaborate on information collection and processing; and, improvement of the categorization and distribution capability. Furthermore, automation has enabled analysts to focus efforts more on analysis than collection and processing. The paper will also discuss possible next steps in integrating additional information collection processes into OSIS 2.0 and how far automation can be taken before it starts to have a diminishing effect on reliable information collection and processing.
Nuclear trade analysis has effectively strengthened international safeguards for more than a decade. Supported by the IAEA Member States, nuclear trade analysis was a departmental response to the revelation of proliferation networks in the early 2000s. The collection, analysis and synthesis of trade-related information with information from open and other sources has diversified and enhanced the verification of completeness of States’ declarations, thus improving assurances of the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities.
The key trade analysis products in the context of safeguards State evaluation are assessments of nuclear-related trade flows, nuclear-related industrial infrastructure, IAEA Technical Cooperation, and ad hoc trade and procurement-related analysis. In 2017, ca 90 such reports were provided to safeguards State evaluation groups (SEGs), in addition to direct SEG trade updates.
Proliferation risks show no sign of decreasing in the future. Recent nuclear energy production projections point to a continuous increase, where even a low case scenario is ca 8 % increase over the next decade. The growth in legitimate nuclear-related trade will also increase the concerns of misuse, illicit trade and proliferation. Resilient proliferation networks are constantly adapting to avoid strengthened export controls and pose a continuous challenge for global non-proliferation. The paper describes the role of IAEA trade analysis in support of safeguards State evaluation, in addition to its sources of information and partnerships in countering non-traditional proliferation risks – by further diversifying and improving departmental trade analysis competence.
IAEA co-authors: E. Marinova, S. Francis
EC-JRC external main author and co-authors: C. Versino, S. Cagno, G. Cojazzi
State Evaluation Groups in the Department of Safeguards analyse safeguards relevant open source information on States’ nuclear related industrial capabilities, including the nuclear related equipment and materials they can make use of either through indigenous manufacture or import. This analysis is performed in the state evaluation process for all States with a comprehensive safeguards agreement in force.
Open source trade statistics can provide insights into the global trade flows of nuclear related equipment and materials and the underlying industrial capabilities of States as possible users or manufacturers of such goods. This paper describes preliminary results of the collaborative work between the IAEA and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission on the development and application of visualization tools to open source trade statistics to support the nuclear related industrial capability assessment in the state evaluation process. Methods for statistical trade data analysis, including the Revealed Comparative Advantage Index, were explored to determine the relative strength of States as exporters or importers of classes of commodities which are seen as indicative in the assessment of States’ nuclear related industrial infrastructure and capabilities.
Due to its strategic location between East and West, the large number of ports and free trade zones and a business-friendly environment, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of the world’s major trade hubs - and a target for illicit nuclear procurement networks.
Since then, following the requirements of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540, the UAE has successfully enhanced its nuclear export controls. The first step was the creation of a Committee for Goods and Materials Subject to Import and Export Control in 2007. In 2008 the UAE evaluated the potential benefits of nuclear power. A year later the UAE decided to embark on a peaceful nuclear programme by awarding a contract to Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) for the construction of four APR-1400 reactors at Barakah, implementing the “Gold Standard” of non-proliferation. The Nuclear Law was issued in 2009, establishing the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) as the UAE’s regulator. The UAE voluntarily committed to abide by the Nuclear Suppliers Group Guidelines. FANR assumed the responsibility for nuclear-related export controls and issued the Regulation on the Export and Import Control of Nuclear Material, Nuclear Related Items and Nuclear Related Dual Use Items, which specifies FANR’s licensing, reporting and inspection requirements and forms the legal basis for controlling all nuclear-related imports, exports, re-exports, transits and transshipments in the UAE.
FANR has established a methodology based on Harmonized System Codes to identify potentially regulated items and control their transfers. FANR also conducts regular outreach activities, organizes workshops with international attendance and collaborates with various countries in the area of nuclear export controls. Owing to FANR’s close cooperation with the UAE’s different customs authorities and State Security, several unlicensed trans-shipments of proliferation concern have successfully been intercepted and seized
The Australian government's approach to countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction involves coordination across multiple agencies with different portfolios and priorities. Through a series of reviews the structure of this whole-of-government approach has been modified to ensure an efficient and effective prosecution of the CP task. This paper will examine the evolution of Australia's CP efforts, global future CP challenges, and how Australia can work collaboratively with the IAEA's Department of Safeguards to advance our mutual interests.
The neutron coincidence counting (NCC) method has been applied for many years in nuclear safeguards. This method is beneficial in allowing large items, such as fuel assemblies, to be interrogated evenly, leading to precise and accurate non-destructive assay measurements of fissile materials. Traditionally NCC has been performed with helium-3 detectors with measurements of thermalized neutrons and has worked very successfully. Currently, however, it is common practise to add burnable neutron poisons into fuel matrices which adds an additional influence into the assay measurements which has to be considered and addressed with ultimate effects of large extensions of measurement times or by large correction factors.
CAEN S.p.A and the IAEA are currently applying a novel approach to solve this problem of measuring fuels containing burnable poisons. The use of fast neutron detectors coupled with fast digitizing electronics and bespoke software and analysis algorithms allow NCC to be performed with fast neutrons. A series of optimised digital filters including time-coincidence, pulse-shape discrimination, pile-up and cross-talk rejection, are used on-the-fly to isolate coincident neutrons produced in the same fission with very high precision and at very high detection rates. The outcomes are that fuel assemblies can be assayed quickly, precisely and without large correction factors, thereby greatly improving the performance of fresh fuel collar measurements. The recent developments of the fast neutron coincidence collar (FNCL) and performance of the system are discussed.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) must ensure the peaceful use of all nuclear materials with a budget that has been compared in size to that of the police department in Vienna. This includes, for example, coverage of over 1,200 nuclear facilities spread around the globe and evaluation of over a million nuclear material reports annually. The amount of information the IAEA collects is on an upward trajectory, and data overload is poised to be an ever-increasing stress on the IAEA’s ability to perform its safeguards mission.
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) has been investing over the past several years in experimental studies within a number of its unique facilities to characterize activity patterns and operational modes using automated methods for disparate data integration. Building on the success of these preliminary studies, there is currently an effort funded by LANL’s Laboratory-Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program to develop a testbed at one of the Laboratory’s radiological facilities for advancing this work, specifically aimed at safeguards-relevant data streams such as unattended radiation monitoring systems, surveillance systems, and nuclear material inventory reports. The overarching goal of this work is to develop and experimentally validate methods to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of safeguards verification at nuclear facilities, which will allow the IAEA to better utilize the data it is already collecting. This paper describes work that has been done to date as well as implications for future areas of research.
The new generation fresh fuels assemblies contain more burned poisons (gadolinium) to compensate the reactivity and the adjustment of the distribution of power in the reactor core. However, the presence of gadolinium hinders the measurement of the uranium quantity using the traditional Uranium Neutron Coincidence Collar (UNCL) in safeguards applications. This non-destructive system, based on passive and active measurements, is used to determine the linear mass of fissile isotope in fresh fuel assemblies and can operate in “fast” and “thermal” modes. In thermal mode, the presence of neutron poison affects the thermal neutrons since the thermal neutrons are captured and the measurement must be corrected using the Gd content declared by the operator, thus generating a possible diversion scenario. To solve this problem, the IAEA (International Agency of Nuclear Energy) has developed the Fast Neutron Collar (FNCL). This new equipment has low dependence to Gd, better accuracy and shorter measurement time compared to UNCL. As part of an IAEA project, the Safeguards Laboratory of the Brazilian Nuclear Energy Commission in collaboration with the Brazilian Nuclear Industry (INB), the Brazilian-Argentinean Agency of Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials (ABACC) and the IAEA had tested this new prototype using fresh fuel assemblies, under the Brazilian Support Program to the IAEA (BRZ SP). The FNCL prototype is composed of 12 cells of liquid scintillator detector, arranged on three detection panels. In this Project, twenty-three fresh fuel assemblies were measured. The aim of this work was to evaluate the performance of the Fast Neutron Coincidence Collar to measure the linear mass density of 235U in fresh PWR assemblies, independently of the presence of gadolinium, as part of the homologation of this equipment for safeguards use. This paper presents the main results of the tests. The preliminary results indicate that the FNCL can be used for safeguards measurement of U235 mass in fresh fuel assemblies containing burnable neutron poisons without requiring the declaration of the operator on the Gd content.
Neutron multiplicity counting is a technique widely used in safeguards for the determination of mass of fissile material. The multi-channel list-mode recording of neutron data provides a large amount of data, the analysis of which provides increased possibilities due to the exact time and channel information. Here a new method for dead-time correction in neutron multiplicity counting shall be presented. The enhanced analysis possibilities are used to calculate a second pulse train containing estimations of pulse losses at specific positions. The system calibrates itself by calculating the probabilities of dead-time loss using some basic properties of the Rossi-Alpha distribution. This is done with actual measurement data, provided the amount of data is large enough to result in a good statistics. The histograms of Reals plus Accidentals (R+A) and Accidentals (A) obtained by multiplicity counting are corrected using statistical methods; Singles, Doubles and Triples are calculated later from this corrected R+A and A histograms.
Engaging professionals across the breadth of the nuclear industry to educate them on international safeguards objectives and methodology is logistically challenging, especially in the United States, where individuals may not interact with the IAEA and are not as familiar with implementing international safeguards. However, incorporating international safeguards concepts into the mandatory curriculum of nuclear-related university degree programs around the world, complementary to nuclear safety and security concepts, could reach individuals who will go on to be professionals acting in a variety of roles across the nuclear industry (e.g., developing nuclear-related advanced technologies, designing or operating nuclear facilities, serving as State regulators). This would ultimately lead to more effective and efficient safeguards, including helping to move safeguards by design from a concept to a standard practice, as future designers, operators, and State regulators would be more familiar with international safeguards. This could also potentially address human resource challenges by creating a broader base of individuals knowledgeable about the IAEA mission from which to draw future inspectors and analysts. In order to implement this idea, the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, in conjunction with the Center for Nuclear Security Science & Policy Initiatives (a research institute associated with Texas A&M; University), targeted nuclear engineering undergraduate students taking the mandatory design course at Texas A&M; and the University of Tennessee. The project objective was to introduce safeguards by design concepts to individuals who are planning to work in a broad range of nuclear-related careers. This paper describes the project methodology, which included the project leads creating and presenting lectures on safeguards to the design class and mentoring teams working on design team projects that incorporated safeguards. The paper also identifies lessons learned while incorporating safeguards topics into nuclear engineering university degree programs.
To explore opportunities in nuclear materials accounting on a shared ledger platform, a blockchain based solution to reporting nuclear materials was developed, and compared to a materials reporting portal on a centralised platform. A blockchain is a type of shared ledger technology, which enables an immutable, objective electronic record to be established by and read by parties who do not necessarily have mutual trust. Detailed encryption key privileges control access to different types of information and simple automated judgements or pre-agreed transactions can be executed automatically through smart contracts. Two inherent features of a blockchain are consistency and immutability of electronic data held between multiple parties, which may improve trust and transparency between licensor/licensees participating in nuclear materials accounting. However, many perceived advantages may actually relate to associated benefits of transitioning paper, or email based reporting practices to electronic, online portal-based solutions, and not directly to the blockchain technology itself. The purpose of the present research was to perform a trial while separating this important confounding factor. Australia has recently transitioned its NUclear Material Balance Tracking System (NUMBAT) to a new database that allows permit holders to record nuclear material inventory and inventory changes through an online portal. As a centralised platform, NUMBAT provides a useful point of comparison for evaluating the potential of a shared ledger platform. The shared ledger system was built to hold materials-accounting data conforming to Code-10 XML on a permissioned blockchain and, besides the unique features arising from its blockchain file structure and permission control, to otherwise match user requirements of NUMBAT, the centralised solution. This presentation and article will share the results and conclusions of comparative evaluation of the two systems, performed during trials at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, by nuclear safeguards professionals and other nuclear experts.
Interactive data visualization techniques in the statistical analysis of multi-source data
Matthias Auer, Scott Fertig, Sidney Hellman, Oleksii Povkh, Oleksandr Sukhotski, and Serhiy Vasilyev, Instrumental Software Technologies, Inc., USA (email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Significant challenges present themselves to evaluators of bulk handling facilities under safeguards. Evaluations require the accurate matching of inspector and operator provided data, variation across time and space of the packaging of materials within a facility, multiple strata, and sophisticated statistical tests that often need to be applied in an investigative and iterative fashion. We present a number of data visualization techniques and charts integrated into an evaluator workbench. These techniques support the iterative and multi-actor collaborative evaluation process. In addition to the use of charts as visualization tools, charts that support “drag-and-drop” grouping, and then reflect those changes back into the dataset underlying an evaluation, will be demonstrated.
"3D technologies have been used in nuclear safeguards verification for several years: applications include design information verification where laser scanners acquire 3D models of nuclear facilities with millimeter accuracy to verify the design information provided by the operators. Another example is container identification and authentication where high-precision 3D scanners are used to acquire the container geometry with micrometer accuracy.
Several technological developments are currently changing the 3D landscape: 3D imaging systems are getting smaller, faster and cheaper; automated processing algorithms - including machine learning - significantly accelerate the processing pipeline; and related technologies such as augmented and virtual reality are getting mature and can be used with large amounts of 3D data. These developments will enable a wider use of 3D technologies in current applications and also open the way for new use cases in nuclear safeguards. Examples include: accurate 3D scanning can be applied at dry storage facilities to verify that the containers have been immobilized between inspections; continuous 3D imaging can complement or replace standard video surveillance, reducing the work load for video review and automatize the verification of material flow for example in encapsulation plants; automated 3D data acquisition and processing – potentially using autonomous platforms and drones – will increase the efficiency for design information and verification; mobile 3D mapping and localization enables location-based services and augmented-reality applications during on-site inspections; the acquisition of as-built 3D data and high-resolution imagery allows the use of virtual reality technologies for training and the preparation of on-site visits.
The presentation will provide an overview of current advances in 3D and related technologies and illustrate how they might be applied to nuclear safeguards in the short and medium term.
Over the past two decades, the IAEA has been moving away from mechanistic, criteria-based and facility-centric safeguards in favor of a more holistic, state-level approach based on achieving technical objectives. The introduction of state-level approaches began under integrated safeguards for states with a Broader Conclusion; however, the IAEA is working to apply the principles of state-level safeguards more broadly.
In the case of integrated safeguards, confidence in the absence of undeclared nuclear facilities and activities can enable the IAEA to modify timeliness goals for verification at declared facilities, where those goals had previously been established under an assumption that undeclared facilities and activities could exist. If the timeliness goals can be relaxed, then the frequency of inspections at those facilities may be reduced. A tailored approach to relaxing timeliness goals includes an evaluation of a State’s nuclear fuel cycle and technical capabilities and must be considered in the broader context that couples timeliness (related to inspection frequency) with inspection intensity to achieve inspection goals. In this context, we focus on the development of an analytical basis for modifying timeliness goals under state-level approaches, accounting for both the time to acquire nuclear material of different types and forms and the time to acquire and employ the capability to weaponize the material. We apply our analytical basis to a set of case studies in the form of notional states for which the Broader Conclusion has been reached, because for these states, the IAEA has established a level of confidence in the absence of undeclared nuclear facilities and activities. Our case studies are intended to be representative of a range of scenarios of nuclear fuel cycle sophistication, from states with relatively low technical capability (e.g., having only a research reactor with production of medical and industrial isotopes) to states with a complete nuclear fuel cycle. Existing state-level approaches for similar states provide a benchmark against which to compare our analytical approach. A similar methodology could be adapted for more general application as the Agency progresses in implementing the State-Level Concept.
Challenges associated with strengthening international safeguards implementation in the United States of America (U.S.) are being addressed through a progressive training and qualification program at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The basis for this program utilizes a qualification plan specifically designed to ensure the U.S. NRC International Safeguards Analysts, Import and Export Analysts, and Nuclear Materials Management and Safeguards System Analysts are evaluated against a standard of knowledge outlined in a qualification plan. The knowledge standard is designed to qualify analysts to effectively represent NRC and U.S. interests in domestic and international meetings on nonproliferation issues, and to ensure the NRC and its commercial licensees comply with international treaties and agreements. Scope of the program plan include initial training on the NRC and its domestic regulatory responsibilities, then focuses on required core training for each analyst position. Course focus provides trainees an opportunity to understand how the U.S. State System of Accounting for and Control over nuclear material was established and how it is now being maintained. This paper will examine strategy used to develop and then satisfy requirements the training and qualification program.
Public Company Nuclear Facilities of Serbia (hereinafter PC NFS) is the only nuclear operator in Serbia. It was founded in 2009 under the Law on Ionizing Radiation together with the Serbian Regulatory Body. Since its establishment, PC NFS has continued all nuclear activities previously managed by Vinca Institute of Nuclear Sciences; Two research reactors (RA-final shut down and RB- zero-power critical assembly, operational but currently not-licensed), RWM facilities- old Hangars H1 and H2 with legacy waste, new hangar H3 (for the storage of intermediate and low level radioactive waste) together with the secure storage for the high activity sealed radioactive sources, and closed uranium mine Kalna are the part of the Company. Paper will provide techniques for characterization of nuclear materials developed within Department for Development and Application of Nuclear Technologies for the purpose of strengthening NMAC capabilities within PC NFS. We will also provide results made in preparation of data for the inventory lists which were provided to our Regulatory Body. Training for the new staff in charge for NMAC was developed in a cooperation between Department for Development and Application of Nuclear Technologies and Department for Nuclear Security within PC NFS has made big contribution in strengthening our human capabilities in this area and the up to date results will also be provided in this paper.
The Russian Methodological and Training Center (RMTC) was created at IPPE in the frame of international program of cooperation with the EC and the USA and is the basic organization of ROSATOM not only for providing the personnel training in the areas of nuclear material control and accounting (MC&A;), but improvement the SSAC infrastructure and nuclear facilities systems. RMTC performs training in all aspects of NMCA and conducts about 25 courses per year and one third of them is with nuclear materials and measurement instruments. Russian and foreign specialists and IAEA inspectors get the training at RMTC.
RMTC methodological support includes:
• Regulation and guide development for agencies and facilities,
• Support for ROSATOM in control of NMCA facility systems,
• Development, testing and implementation of non-destructive analysis of nuclear materials mass and content in accounting items, accumulation and hold-up,
• Implementation of non-destructive analysis of solution level and density.
RMTC has the labs for the practical exercises and research works with technical instruments used for NMCA:
• NDA laboratory,
• Bar-code laboratory.
The laboratories have modern equipment, software and samples. NDA laboratory has a wide set of reference and working uranium and plutonium samples with different isotopic and mass.
The report presents the main results of RMTC development and activity, the experience of cooperation with IAEA.
In 1994, the Argentine Nuclear Regulatory Authority (ARN) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Signed a Cooperation Agreement for international safeguards research and development in the areas of nuclear material control, accountancy, verification, physical protection, and advanced containment and surveillance devices.
Over the past 25 years, this collaboration agreement has aided the Safeguards Control Division of ARN in safeguards staff development. The subjects of cooperation and training subjects included safeguards concepts applied to uranium enrichment technologies, containment and surveillance, statistics for safeguards applications, and non-destructive Assays, among others.
Cooperation focused on human resource development improved the application of safeguards in the national context and also evolved into a joint activity like the planned, training other national safeguards personnel of the South American region.
This paper will present a quick overview of the cooperation actions carried out, the resulting impact in the Argentinean safeguards community, and how this long-term endeavor strengthens safeguards application in the country and in the region.