A safeguards envelope is a set of operational and safeguards
parameters that increases the confidence as to the location and
assay of nuclear material. Facilities operating under safeguards
envelopes operate under a higher confidence and lower false alarm
rate with minimal operator impact. A full safeguards envelope gives
a set of plant operator requirements that assures that the
equipment and methods used to detect nuclear theft are at peak
efficiency without having a significant impact on the efficiency of
the nuclear facility.
Traditional safeguards techniques take into account a wealth of
information, including containment and surveillance feeds, material
flow rates, and exit monitoring. Additional operational
information, such as pressure, temperature, reagent flow rates,
process monitors, and other "non-safeguards" indicators typically
available at the plants are used as elements in the creation of an
advanced safeguards envelope.
These data feeds are combined with advanced mathematical anomaly
detection models, neural network learning, or Bayesian probability
theory to allow for the prioritization of resources to the most
credible nuclear material theft situations. This prioritization
will increase the likelihood of detecting a diversion, with the
overarching safeguards operating envelope increasing the
"safeguardability" of the facility by decreasing the time and cost
of nuclear material accountancy.
Current research involves evaluation of the Idaho Chemical
Processing Plant process monitoring data (including multi-monitor
correlations), scalability studies, and operational impact
- R. Metcalf, A. Bevill, W. Charlton, and R. Bean,
"Safeguards Envelope: Previous Work and Examples,"
Proceedings of 49th Annual INMM Meeting, Nashville, TN, July 13-17, 2008. See Document
- R. Metcalf, J. Ragusa, and R. Bean ,
"Safeguards Envelope: The First Steps,"
Proceedings of 8th International Conference on Facility Operations - Safeguards Interface, Portland, OR, March 30 - April 4, 2008. See Document
Plot showing the envelope operation