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Nuclear Safeguards Education Portal

Verification Objectives

The fundamental verification process for the IAEA is nuclear material accountancy.  For spent nuclear fuel this consists of verifying a State's accounts of spent nuclear fuel (operator's records, inventories, shipping records, etc.).  Given the safeguards goals, several objectives for spent nuclear fuel accountancy are derived.

  • Verify presence (or absence) spent nuclear fuel assembly
    • Detection of a gross defects, e.g. a missing fuel assembly.
  • Verify the identity of the SNF assembly
    • Ensure that the assembly is the assembly declared by the facility operator.
  • Verify the integrity of the SNF assembly
    • Detection of partial defects, e.g. missing fuel rods.
  • Verify the nuclear material content of the SNF assembly (U, Pu, Th).
  • Maintain continuity of knowledge over verified SNF assemblies

The safeguards verifications are obtained through a combination of non-destructive assay, nuclear material accountancy, and containment & surveillance methods.

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