From August 23-27, 2010 NSSPI student Travis Gitau had the opportunity to be a lecturer in an International Safeguards Seminar held at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. The purpose of the seminar was to educate and engage young members of the Chinese nuclear industry in international safeguards and nonproliferation efforts. The seminar was organized under an agreement between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the State Development Planning Commission of the People’s Republic of China on Cooperation Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Technology (PUNT), the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), and the China Atomic Energy Agency. Preparation for the seminar was a collaborative effort between Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Nuclear Security Science and Policy Institute at Texas A&M University, Tsinghua University, and the China Institute of Atomic Energy (CIAE). Participants in the course came from a variety of backgrounds, both technical and non-technical.
For the seminar, lectures were prepared to educate participants in a wide range of safeguards and nonproliferation topics including: The Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Nuclear Material Safeguards; The Nonproliferation Treaty and the Additional Protocol; State Systems for Accounting and Control; Nuclear Material Accountancy Methods; Destructive and Non-Destructive Assay; Physical Protection and Security; Containment and Surveillance; Item and Bulk Facilities; Integration of Technologies for an Effective Safeguards System; and Safeguards Approach Development for Nuclear Facilities.
The seminar culminated with a day-long activity that gave participants the chance to implement safeguards on three types of nuclear facilities. The students were divided into groups, and each group was responsible for developing the safeguards approach for two different facilities. This experience served to illustrate the complexities involved in applying the concepts taught in the course to a real-life scenario.