Data Analytics Methods for Verifying Nuclear Facility Operations
Contact: Scott Stewart
High flux research reactors coupled with radiochemical facilities that contain hot cells receive significant International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards attention because they are a primary diversion pathway for plutonium. The IAEA must have a way to independently verify operator declarations from a facility to some extent to use them for safeguards determinations, but the Agency currently has few tools available to perform this verification for this high-risk scenario. Data analytics tools could aid the Agency in prioritizing which information from these facilities should be independently verified and would give greater confidence in operator declarations by providing a quantitative way of aggregating that information and observing anomalies as well as event sequences that might be indicative of certain types of operations. This project uses ORNL’s novel capabilities in data analytics coupled with our facility operations experience to explore methods to gain greater confidence in operator declarations and identify the highest value data streams that should be targets for future work to develop detection equipment to verify operator declarations.