Nonproliferation


Savannah River establishes nonproliferation R&D center

April 18, 2022, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe

Savannah River National Laboratory has announced the establishment of the Nonproliferation Applied Sciences Center (NASC), to be located on the lab’s main campus at the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site in Aiken, S.C. Tammy Taylor, associate laboratory director for global security, will lead the development of the center until a permanent director is selected later this year.

Plutonium transported from IAEA laboratory to Oak Ridge

March 30, 2022, 9:46AMNuclear News

Truck loaded with nuclear cargo before departing the IAEA’s Nuclear Material Laboratory. (Photo: NNSA).

Plutonium from an International Atomic Energy Agency laboratory in Austria has been removed to the United States, the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration announced on March 29.

The plutonium was shipped from the IAEA’s Nuclear Material Laboratory in Seibersdorf, Austria, to Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, where it will be used in sealed sources for nonproliferation research and development.

Safeguards: The plutonium included in the shipment represents approximately 15 years of accumulated residue from inspection samples collected in support of the IAEA’s safeguards mission, according to the NNSA. Technical experts from ORNL and Savannah River National Laboratory worked with a team from the IAEA for several years to complete all activities required for the safe and secure transportation of the material to Oak Ridge.

Researchers studying seismo-acoustic data application for nuclear nonproliferation

March 28, 2022, 7:09AMANS Nuclear Cafe
Aerial view of the High Flux Isotope Reactor. (Photo: ORNL)

The nonproliferation-related monitoring of nuclear reactor operations received a boost from a new study focusing on the use of seismic and acoustic data for such purposes, ScienceDaily reported last week. The study, conducted by investigators at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, was published March 9 in the journal Seismological Research Letters.

Spent fuel reprocessing, or "Don't bother us with facts; our minds are made up."

January 27, 2022, 9:30AMANS Nuclear Cafe
The cover of the May 1977 issue of Nuclear News (left), an image of the story discussing Carter's decision to cancel the breeder reactor program (center) and the cover of the June 1977 Nuclear News (right).

The ANS Fuel Cycle and Waste Management Division will present a webinar today at noon EST (the recording will be available via the webinar archive to all ANS members) featuring an international panel of experts on nuclear waste reprocessing. The panel will explore the idea of separating certain radionuclides from waste using recycling technology that enables pure materials to be used for other purposes.

ORNL researchers employ extraction probe for rapid safeguards analysis

October 19, 2021, 7:29AMNuclear News
ORNL’s Benjamin Manard places a swipe on the extraction stage of Advion’s Plate Express, a microextraction tool that has been paired with a mass spectrometer. (Photo: Carlos Jones/ORNL, DOE)

International nuclear safeguards verification relies on a precise count of isotope particles collected on swipes during International Atomic Energy Agency inspections of nuclear facilities and isolated through a series of lengthy chemical separations that can take about 30 days to complete. On October 15, Oak Ridge National Laboratory—a member of the IAEA’s Network of Analytical Laboratories (NWAL)—announced that analytical chemists at the site have developed a faster way to measure isotopic ratios of uranium and plutonium collected on swipes, which could help IAEA analysts detect the presence of undeclared nuclear activities or material.

Statement on the death of Secretary George P. Shultz

February 8, 2021, 11:18AMPress Releases

ANS remembers the life of George P. Shultz and mourns his passing. A nonproliferation hero and renowned statesman, Shultz leaves behind a legacy that will continue to inspire for generations to come.

As U.S. Secretary of State, Shultz was paramount in achieving a peaceful end to the Cold War and shepherding landmark arms control agreements with the Soviet Union, including the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty of 1987.

Machine learning can help expose illicit nuclear trade, says new report

January 22, 2021, 12:06PMANS Nuclear Cafe

The Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) and the Center for Advanced Defense Studies (C4ADS) last week released Signals in the Noise: Preventing Nuclear Proliferation with Machine Learning & Publicly Available Information, a 22-page report that provides a blueprint for identifying high-risk or illicit nuclear trade. (Machine learning can be defined as a branch of artificial intelligence focused on building applications that learn from data and improve their accuracy over time without being programmed to do so.)

U.S., Canada sign MOU on safeguards and nonproliferation

October 19, 2020, 9:29AMNuclear News

Brent Park, the NNSA’s deputy administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, and Richard Sexton (on screen), president and chief executive officer of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, show the signed agreement. Photo: NNSA

The United States and Canada have signed a memorandum of understanding—Cooperation and Exchange of Information in Nuclear Security, Safeguards, and Nonproliferation Matters—to enable a more effective collaboration between the two countries in the areas of nuclear safety and security.

The five-year agreement was signed virtually on October 16 by Brent Park, the National Nuclear Security Administration’s deputy administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, and two Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) executives: Richard Sexton, president and chief executive officer, and Shannon Quinn, vice president of Science, Technology, and Commercial Oversight.

Shellenberger: Stop the war on nuclear

August 24, 2020, 10:34AMAround the Web

Shellenberger

U.S. civil nuclear cooperation pacts—so-called 123 Agreements—are too strict, says Michael Shellenberger, founder and president of Environmental Progress, in an August 13 City Journal article.

Shellenberger reasons that the 123 Agreements force nations that have expressed interest in developing nuclear energy programs to turn to Russia and China. That result is bad, Shellenberger continues, not only for the American nuclear industry, but also for the global nonproliferation movement.

NTI assessment shows little progress in nuclear security

July 29, 2020, 9:49AMNuclear News

The Nuclear Threat Initiative’s 2020 NTI Nuclear Security Index, released last week, finds that progress on the protection of nuclear materials and facilities has slowed significantly over the past two years, reversing a trend of substantial improvements between 2012 and 2018.

Published biennially since 2012, the NTI index assesses and tracks nuclear security conditions in countries around the globe, highlighting progress and trends over time. It is produced in cooperation with the Economist Intelligence Unit, the research and analysis division of the Economist Group media company.

Nuclear watchdog leader rebukes Iran for lack of full cooperation

March 16, 2020, 1:20PMNuclear News

Rafael Mariano Grossi, the International Atomic Energy Agency’s director general, called on Iran on March 9 to cooperate immediately and fully with the IAEA and to provide prompt access to locations that it has refused to let agency inspectors visit. “The agency has identified a number of questions related to possible undeclared nuclear material and nuclear-related activities at three locations that have not been declared by Iran,” Grossi said in his first address to the IAEA’s Board of Governors since being named director general in December.