Accelerating Safeguards Innovations

By Valeriia Hesse

The spread of nuclear energy around the world requires devising new strategies for deterring proliferation of nuclear weapons. Some modern safeguards challenges are associated with new nuclear and related technologies as well as new reactor types (generation IV, small modular reactors, floating power plants). Meeting future safeguards challenges requires working on institutional and procedural enhancements in safeguards implementation to address the complications that stem from the nature of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as an international institution. The IAEA has to continue to organize appropriate outreach to State representatives and operators to facilitate the understanding of modern approaches to and verification equipment for new types of reactors. The Departments of Nuclear Energy and Safeguards should continue to have as many cross-meetings as possible because such cooperation is desirable and crucial in meeting future challenges. Inspectors also have to have excellent knowledge of safeguards legal basis in order to make references to why they are, for example, entitled to use specific types of instrumentation. On top of that, increasing the visibility/accessibility of the existing formal equipment authorization process could help improve the Agency’s efficiency. This calls for a more robust mechanism of collecting worldwide information on safeguards-relevant R&D at one place and further developing a formal process of assessing the most user-needed entries in the database.

Presented at 2021 INMM-EASRDA Annual Meeting, permanent link to download the paper