Safety, Security, and Safeguards for Advanced Nuclear Power

The next generation of nuclear reactors and fuel cycle facilities must incorporate Safeguards, Security, and Safety by Design (3SBD) in order to develop safe and secure facilities that meet regulatory requirements in an efficient manner. Sandia provides safeguards analysis capabilities that tie into safety and security expertise to design and evaluate advanced safeguards and security system designs for future nuclear fuel cycle facilities.

Advanced nuclear facilities face challenges in meeting NRC regulatory requirements which were not written for small and advanced reactors and certain fuel cycle facilities. Sandia has developed a unique safeguards modeling capability for analyzing safeguard challenges and approaches for nuclear fuel cycle facilities. The Separation and Safeguards Performance Model (SSPM), developed for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Nuclear Energy (NE), is a transient mass-tracking and safeguards model. The model has been used to examine materials accountancy approaches for bulk handling facilities and liquid fueled reactors. The Safeguards Performance ToolKit (SPTK) has also been developed to create a separate safeguards analysis tool.

These systems-level models are used for design and analysis of existing and next-generation nuclear facilities. The models have been used to evaluate traditional best practices for safeguards as well as to explore new machine learning based approaches. Applications cover both domestic and international safeguards.

This work incorporates physical security modeling and safety analysis in order to examine 3SBD. Sandia‚Äôs strength in 3SBD stems from linking extensive work in domestic and international safeguards with our long history of securing the nation’s nuclear assets and development of state-of-the-art reactor safety and consequence tools.

From current global security landscapes to evaluations pre-dating the events of September 11th, 2001, Sandia has developed capabilities to assess the damage and consequences of various security-based events on nuclear facilities. These include attacks against nuclear power plants as well as on ancillary facilities such as independent spent fuel storage installations (ISFSIs). Through the leveraged application of testing and modeling, source terms and dispersion patterns have been studied for a wide-ranging set of parameters to inform policy makers.

Vin Diagram Graphic representing overlap of safeguards, security, and safety design