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IT Upgrades Strengthen Nuclear Safeguards Worldwide

The MOSAIC project involves a series of comprehensive IT upgrades to reinforce the quality and increase the effectiveness of the IAEA’s safeguards work. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

More efficient nuclear safeguards is one of the benefits of the IAEA's Modernization of the Safeguards Information Technology (MOSAIC) project. For the first time, this year's edition of the annual Safeguards Implementation Report was prepared using the new integrated system developed under MOSAIC.

"MOSAIC brings the latest technology to safeguards implementation to increase productivity and efficiency. This is essential as the number of nuclear facilities and amount of nuclear material under safeguards grow but the budget remains static," said Tero Varjoranta, Head of the Department of Safeguards.

MOSAIC began in 2015 and involves a series of comprehensive IT upgrades to reinforce the quality and increase the effectiveness of the IAEA's safeguards work.

Going digital

Among the new features are time-saving applications that allow the planning and reporting of safeguards activities to be carried out electronically. With the elimination of a paper-based approach, data will be more searchable and accessible for quicker retrieval of inspection results. This also helps to ensure effective knowledge management while providing greater integration of safeguards information.

"By going digital, we are streamlining information analysis and creating opportunities to automate basic manual tasks.  It means more time and resources can be channeled into inspections, analysis, and evaluation," said Florin Abazi, MOSAIC Programme Coordinator. Starting in early 2017, these applications are expected to fully replace the hundreds of thousands of paper documents produced every year through safeguards inspections.

Quality reporting

As data is gathered, the new tools developed through MOSAIC will help to increase the quality of safeguards reporting. New features include data analytics and visualization tools that support the drawing of safeguards conclusions.

"With the MOSAIC upgrades, preparing the Safeguards Implementation Report now takes a fraction of the time compared to before," said Haroldo Barroso Junior, an IAEA Director of Operations and MOSAIC senior user. "The new tools help us save time while continuing to ensure the same high quality reporting that IAEA Safeguards has delivered for decades."

Secure portal for communication

A new secure portal is also being tested to provide States with another option for delivering safeguards information directly to the IAEA. With a few clicks in the encrypted portal, a State can securely transfer key information and interact with the IAEA. The integrated system is designed to improve record-keeping and support the continuity of knowledge, ease information exchange, and allow for more fluid and efficient safeguards information processing.

By mid-2017, a group of Member States, 'early adopters', are expected to begin using the new portal. The entire MOSAIC project is expected to be completed by mid-2018.

Initiated in 2015, MOSAIC project is providing enhanced information technology capabilities for the Department of Safeguards to carry out its work. In a world where the demands for the services of the Department are increasing and computer-based threats are evolving, MOSAIC is allowing Safeguards staff to work more effectively, efficiently, and securely.

(Click on the infographic to download the high resolution version [pdf]).

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