IAEA Experts to Participate in Annual Meeting of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management

Safeguards training at the Mochovce Nuclear Power Plant in Slovakia. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA) 

The IAEA will showcase its newest nuclear verification monitoring equipment and sampling practices, as well its state-level safeguards approach at the 57th Annual Meeting of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management (INMM) later this month. The event, which provides a forum to exchange the latest technical information related to nuclear materials management, including safeguards and security, will take place from 24-28 July in Atlanta.

The following are some of the topics that IAEA experts will discuss at the event.

On-line enrichment monitor for gas centrifuge enrichment plants

The potential use of on-line enrichment monitors for safeguarding gas centrifuge enrichment plants has been of interest and under investigation for many years.

In 2015, the IAEA developed an on-line enrichment monitor, dedicated to measuring the enrichment level of uranium in gas centrifuge enrichment facilities. Following its debut in Iran at the Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant in January 2016, the IAEA intends to gradually roll out the on-line enrichment monitor to gas centrifuge enrichment plants in other countries. As the new technology provides continuous measurement, it is possible to reduce sample taking, resulting in efficiency gains and cost savings.

The IAEA will present its experience in developing, testing and deploying the on-line enrichment monitors to enhance safeguards effectiveness.

A new method to verify declared levels of uranium enrichment more efficiently

The entire process of gaseous uranium – uranium hexafluoride (UF6) – sample collection, analysis and data evaluation usually takes several weeks. According to an IAEA study, the use of ‘swab sub-samples’ would significantly reduce the length of that process.

Successful completion of the safeguards laboratory modernization project

The IAEA completed on time and on budget at the end of 2015 the laboratory modernization project, known as Enhancing Capabilities of Safeguards Analytical Services. The modernized laboratories will provide the IAEA with increased analytical capacity, higher accuracy and faster turn-around time, enabling the Agency to meet its growing obligations in nuclear verification.

Developing a State-level approach for a State with a comprehensive safeguards agreement: Case study

The State-level approach to safeguards implementation involves the IAEA applying a safeguards implementation plan tailored to the types of nuclear facilities in the State, the specific design features of a particular power plant, the State's future fuel cycle-related development plans, and whether or not the State has its own nuclear safeguards inspectorate.

During the session, the practical implementation of safeguards at the State level will be discussed using a case study.

The IAEA Safeguards Development and Implementation Support Plan for 2016-2017

The IAEA’s Safeguards Development and Implementation Support Plan puts forward the IAEA’s projects and plans for the period 2016-2017 to support the implementation of safeguards in a manner which is effective, efficient and encourages innovation and excellence. The aim is to meet both shorter-term needs and others that are part of longer-term R&D planning. It also provides a better understanding of where assistance is required to meet current and emerging safeguards needs.

The IAEA will present its plans and priorities for the Member State Support Programme for this biennium.