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R. Ghanbari, K. Tolk, and W.S. Charlton, "Exploration of Ion-Exchanged Glass for Seals Application," 33rd ESARDA Annual Meeting: Symposium on Safeguards and Nuclear Material Management, May 16–20, 2011, Budapest, Hungary.


As the nuclear industry grows around the globe, it brings with it a need for more safeguards and proliferation resistant technologies. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) depends on effective containment and surveillance (C/S) technologies and methods for maintaining continuity of knowledge over nuclear assets. Tags and seals, a subset of C/S technologies, are an area where innovation has been relatively stagnant for the past fifteen years (pickett lecture). Seals are used to maintain the integrity of monitoring enclosures, containers, or perhaps a point of entry. Tags are used like barcodes, as unique identifiers to account for separate items. It is necessary to investigate technologies not previously used in this field in order to defend against emerging threats and methods of defeat.

Based on a gap analysis of tags and seals currently being used by the IAEA, completed with the input of several subject matter experts, the technology selected for investigation was ion-exchanged glass. Ion-exchanged glass is relatively inexpensive, has high strength, and can be used in a variety of applications. If identical pieces of glass are exchanged under the same conditions and subjected to the same point load, the fracture patterns produced can be compared and used as a verification measure. This technology has the potential to be used in passive seal applications.

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