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New Application Increases Efficiency and Effectiveness of Safeguards Verification

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Nuclear safeguards inspector Pablo Alvarez Casado installs a camera in the reactor hall of the Dukovany Nuclear Power Plant. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

The IAEA’s in-field verification activities to monitor the peaceful uses of nuclear technology are taking a step further into a paper-free world with a new tool introduced earlier this year, delegates learned at the IAEA General Conference today. 

The electronic Verification Package (eVP), developed as part of the Modernization of Safeguards Information Technology (MOSAIC) project , consolidates into a single application activities associated with safeguards in-field verification, including planning, reporting and review. Bringing all of these elements together in one digital place, also referred to as the “Inspectors’ App” removes the need for hundreds of thousands of paper documents each year.

“The accelerating pace of technological change and globalisation profoundly shapes our operating environment,” said Tero Varjoranta, Deputy Director General and Head of the IAEA’s Department of Safeguards. “We are developing the tools to ensure that our IT system supports all safeguards implementation processes well into the future.”

eVP provides inspectors in the field and analysts at IAEA headquarters much faster and easier access to information on verification activities, and enables inspectors to transfer data from the field back to IAEA headquarters quickly and securely.

By organizing all of the information in one place, eVP allows for workflow management, quality checks, status tracking, knowledge preservation and process management review. These features not only streamline the in-field verification process, they also enable easier quality control to continuously improve this process. 

While ensuring that the quality of safeguards verification reporting is maintained, eVP also provides a better insight into the safeguards verification reporting process. By analysing information collected this way, the IAEA will be able to hone this process to be more effective and efficient going forward. 

From Paper to App

The IAEA performed 3,007 in-field verification activities in 2016, spending a total of 13,275 working days in the field. Previously, the Agency’s 300 inspectors had to keep track of the data collected during these activities using pen and paper.

“The previous reliance on paper documents was very time-consuming and inefficient as information could not be easily accessed and further analysed,” said Alexis Vasmant, Senior Inspector for State Level Coordination. “With eVP, we are provided with easy access to the required documentation to complete our task.”

eVP is one of many IT solutions being developed to tackle the challenges of safeguards verification through the MOSAIC project. MOSAIC is delivering new IT technologies to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of processes associated with nuclear verification, while also enhancing information security. The modernization of the relevant IT systems will be completed by 15 May 2018.

The introduction to eVP is one of six presentations on the IAEA’s safeguards work to delegates on the margins of the IAEA General Conference. Other presentations include improvements in environmental and nuclear material analysis, a new online portal through which States can make their nuclear safeguards declarations, an application that collects all data from safeguards in-field equipment, and a tool for conducting non-destructive analysis of spent nuclear fuel.

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