REPORT OF THE WORKSHOP ON NUCLEAR FACILITY DESIGN INFORMATION EXAMINATION AND VERIFICATION FOR SAFEGUARDS
Richard Metcalf, Robert Bean
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) implements nuclear safeguards and verifies countries are compliant with their international nuclear safeguards agreements. a One of the key provisions in the safeguards agreement is the requirement that the country provide nuclear facility design and operating information to the IAEA relevant to safeguarding the facility, and at a very early stage. b, c This provides the opportunity for the IAEA to verify the safeguards-relevant features of the
... ity and to periodically ensure that those features have not changed. The national authorities (State System of Accounting for and Control of Nuclear Material -SSAC) provide the design information for all facilities within a country to the IAEA. The design information is conveyed using the IAEA's Design Information Questionnaire (DIQ) and specifies: (1) Identification of the facility's general character, purpose, capacity, and location; (2) Description of the facility's layout and nuclear material form, location, and flow; (3) Description of the features relating to nuclear material accounting, containment, and surveillance; and (4) Description of existing and proposed procedures for nuclear material accounting and control, with identification of nuclear material balance areas. The DIQ is updated as required by written addendum. IAEA safeguards inspectors examine and verify this information in design information examination (DIE) and design information verification (DIV) activities to confirm that the facility has been constructed or is being operated as declared by the facility operator and national authorities, and to develop a suitable safeguards approach. Under the Next Generation Safeguards Initiative (NGSI), the National Nuclear Security Administrations (NNSA) Office of Non-Proliferation and International Security identified the need for more effective and efficient verification of design information by the IAEA for improving international safeguards in the future. Consequently, the NNSA Office of International Regimes and Agreements (NA-243) sponsored a team of U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratory nuclear safeguards experts and technologists to conduct a workshop on methods and technologies for improving this activity, under the ASA-100 Advanced Safeguards Approaches Project. The workshop focused on reviewing and discussing the fundamental safeguards needs, and presented technology and/or methods that could potentially address those needs more effectively and efficiently. From this workshop the Team concluded the following: • The DIE/DIV activity remains an important safeguards measure used by the IAEA to verify that nuclear facilities are being built and operated by the facility operator as declared by the national authorities, i.e., that the facility function or capacity has not been altered. a In accordance with Article III.1 of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), non-nuclear-weapons states are obligated to conclude a comprehensive safeguards agreement (CSA) that contains an, "an undertaking by the State to accept safeguards, in accordance with the terms of the Agreement on all source or special fissionable material in all peaceful nuclear activities within its territory, under its jurisdiction, or carried out under its control anywhere, for the exclusive purpose of verifying that such material is not diverted to nuclear weapons or other explosive devices." (Sources -IAEA INFCIRC/153 (corrected) and NPT) b According to a 1992 IAEA Board of Governors decision, all parties to comprehensive safeguards agreements are required to inform the IAEA of their programs for new nuclear facilities and activities as soon as the decision to construct the new facility has been taken. In April of 1992, "the Board called upon all parties to comprehensive safeguards agreements...to inform the Agency of their programmes for new nuclear facilities and activities, and for any modifications to existing facilities through the provision of preliminary design information, as soon as the decision to construct, to authorize construction, or modify has been taken." (Source -IAEA Board of Governors Report, GOV/2554/Attachment 2, April, 1992) c The providing of nuclear facility design information is required under both comprehensive safeguards agreements (INFCIRC/153-type) and INFCIRC/66-type agreements. Under an INFCIRC/66-type safeguards agreement, the state is to provide design information on principal nuclear facilities to enable the IAEA to perform the design review at as early stage as possible. (Sources -IAEA Safeguards Glossary, 2001 Edition, and INFCIRC/66, para. 31 and 32) iv • As currently conducted by the IAEA, the DIE/DIV activity could be made more efficient and effective. • The DIE/DIV activity relies heavily on individual inspector training, knowledge, and experience. In the near-term, additional training could help standardize the conduct of the DIE/DIV. Tools such as the 3DLR also help standardize the conduct and improve the effectiveness of the DIE/DIV in detecting safeguards relevant changes. However, the IAEA only has three 3DLR units, one of which is permanently stationed at the Rokkashomura Reprocessing Plant in Japan. Additionally, the IAEA has only the older Mark-I 3DLR (ca. 2003 ) and none of the newer Mark-II (2008) models. • As nuclear facilities become larger and more complex, the IAEA must be able to perform DIE/DIV more efficiently to verify that the safeguards relevant features of the facility are as declared by the facility operator and national authorities. This was one of the major conclusions from the 10-year effort of performing DIE/DIV at the Rokkashomura Reprocessing Plant (RRP) in Japan. • IAEA inspectors need to have ready access to design information and previous DIE/DIV reports in the field while performing the DIE/DIV. This need could potentially be met with portable laptop or tablet personal computers containing the design information on a secured and protected file. • IAEA inspectors need to be able to discern and detect safeguards relevant changes to the nuclear facility during the DIE/DIV activity. This need could be met in the near term with additional training, and potentially in the future with new tools that incorporate automated image recognition and built-in change detection software (CDS), such as utilized by the 3DLR. The image recognition feature could also embody an automated and accessible computerized catalogue of known equipment types and features to aid in this process. • The IAEA needs the ability to detect concealed process equipment and piping, which could potentially be detected during DIE/DIV if the right tools were available. Development efforts have focused on combining the 3DLR with a gamma camera to detect undeclared process piping and nuclear material. The use of enhanced ground penetrating radar (GPR) is also possible, as had been demonstrated in detecting buried waste drums and vessels at the DOE Hanford Site. This is still an area that requires additional development and demonstration to prove that the tool could be used practically by the IAEA for DIE/DIV. • The DIE/DIV activity is based fundamentally on the quality of the information provided by the facility operator through the SSAC to the IAEA in the form of the IAEA DIQ. U.S. DOE had previously provided model responses and examples to the IAEA, to help standardize the process and raise the quality of the information provided via the DIQ. These models are now thirty years old and are in need of being updated. • The DIE/DIV activity depends on the IAEA Safeguards Facility Officer maintaining a current and relevant Essential Equipment List (EEL) of safeguards relevant equipment at the facility. Based on the workshop findings and conclusions, the Team recommends the following next steps to NNSA, in order of priority, to help the IAEA improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the DIE/DIV activity: Near Term -(Within the next 6 Months to 1 Year) • Provide additional training via the United States Support Program to the IAEA (USSP) to help IAEA safeguards inspectors read mechanical, piping, instrument, and architectural blueprints, engineering drawings, and process flow schematics more proficiently. The estimated cost of providing additional training to the IAEA inspectors in the reading of engineering blueprints is $100K for one year. v • Provide financial support to the IAEA to upgrade the three existing 3DLR units from the Mark-I (2003) model to the Mark-II (2008) model. According to the system developer/integrator from JRC/Ispra, the cost of this upgrade is estimated to be on the order of $50K per unit, for a one time total cost of $150K. • Provide financial support to the IAEA to acquire additional Mark-II 3DLR units. If the IAEA had three additional 3DLR units, one unit could be prepositioned in each major region of the world where the IAEA inspects. This would reduce the cost of shipping 3DLR units to and from Vienna, and would minimize the likelihood of damage resulting from shipping. At an estimated cost of $200K per unit, the total cost would be $600K. • Provide additional training via the USSP to the IAEA in the use of the new Mark-II 3DLR. Of the estimated 40 safeguards inspectors trained in the use of the 3DLR, most were trained in the use of the older Mark-I model, and of those, as many as 10 have left the IAEA. The IAEA needs intense training in the use of the Mark-II model so that use of the 3DLR is not hindered for lack of trained personnel. It is recommended that this training be provided by knowledgeable staff at JRC/Ispra, with the support of experienced DOE National Laboratory staff. The estimated cost of providing additional training to the IAEA in using the Mark-II 3DLR and training a larger group of inspectors is $100K for one year. • Provide updated model responses to the IAEA DIQ through the United States Support Program to the IAEA, for each major type of nuclear facility, as had been provided previously in 1979. The estimated cost for updating the model responses to the IAEA DIQ for the 10 major types of nuclear facilities is $100K total. • Recommend to the IAEA Department of Safeguards to update the Essential Equipment Lists (EEL) for facilities under IAEA safeguards. • Recommend to the IAEA that they systematically digitize old design information, such as Polaroid photographs, and implement the use of Change Detection Software (CDS). If the older reference information were digitized, it could be stored on resident laptop computers, and/or hard disks at the facility under seal. It could subsequently be compared to new digital photos acquired during current DIE/DIV activities to detect safeguards relevant changes, using the CDS. This process would be far less subjective and more systematic than the use of hardcopy photos and individual inspector visual observation. The estimated cost of demonstrating CDS to support DIE/DIV for a group of three nuclear facilities is $50K. Medium Term -(Within 1 to 3 Years) • Fund the National Laboratories to demonstrate the use of the JRC-developed Outdoor Verification System (OVS) in a practical DIE/DIV exercise to verify an entire nuclear site. The purpose of the demonstration would be to show the utility of the OVS in verifying complete nuclear sites and detecting the functional linkage between nuclear and ancillary facilities. The estimated cost of demonstrating the OVS to support DIE/DIV at a DOE nuclear site is $100K.