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Open Source Information Acquisition and Analysis in the International Atomic Energy Agency Department of Safeguards

Michael Barletta, Nicholas Zarimpas, Ryszard Zarucki

Nuclear Technology / Volume 179 / Number 1 / July 2012 / Pages 156-159

Technical Paper / Special Issue on Safeguards / Fuel Cycle and Management

Acquisition and analysis of open source information plays an increasingly important role in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards system. The Agency's focal point for open source information collection and analysis is the Division of Information Management (SGIM) within the IAEA's Department of Safeguards. In parallel, with the approval of the Model Additional Protocol in 1997, a new center of information acquisition and analysis expertise was created within SGIM. By acquiring software, developing databases, retraining existing staff, and hiring new staff with diverse analytical skills, SGIM, in collaboration with other Divisions within the Department of Safeguards, is proactively contributing to the future implementation of safeguards that are fully information driven. Open source information support is now integrated with core safeguards processes and activities, and has become an effective tool in the work of the Department of Safeguards.

This paper provides an overview of progress realized through the acquisition and use of open source information in several thematic areas: evaluation of additional protocol declarations; support to the state evaluation process; in-depth investigation of safeguards issues, including assisting inspections and complementary access; research on illicit nuclear procurement networks and trafficking; and monitoring nuclear developments.

Demands for open source information have steadily grown and will likely continue to grow in the future. Coupled with the enormous growth and accessibility in the volume and sources of information, new challenges are presented, both technical and analytical. This paper discusses actions taken and future plans for multisource and multidisciplinary analytic integration to strengthen confidence in safeguards conclusions, especially regarding the absence of undeclared nuclear material or activities.

 
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