S. Chirayath, W. Charlton, A. Stafford, C. Myers, B. Goddard, J. Alfred, M. Carroll, M. Sternat, E. Rauch, “Risk Informed Safeguards Approaches for Fast Reactor Fuel Cycle Utilizing MAUA based Proliferation Resistance Assessment”, NSSPI-10-002, January 15, 2010.
Fast breeder reactors with a closed fuel cycle (FBRFC) are important for the sustainability, reliability, and security of the world’s long-term energy supply. Fast reactors have a hundred-fold energy extraction potential from the same amount of mined uranium compared to thermal reactors and have the possibility of incinerating all long-lived heavy elements during reactor cycle. Knowing this vast potential, research activities on the FBRFC technology have rejuvenated worldwide. Presence of three such nuclear systems among the total six systems proposed by GEN IV International Forum further marks the importance of fast reactor fuel cycle systems in the future. However, the breeding of high purity 239Pu isotope and its envisaged use in large quantities in FBRFC by design is a major safeguards concern because of the vulnerability of special nuclear material (SNM) diversion from peaceful uses to destructive ones. Hence, it is prudent to assess the proliferation resistance (PR) of the FBRFC facilities for finding weak links, so as to ensure enhanced safeguards for the SNM.rnTowards meeting this objective, the Nuclear Security Science and Policy Institute (NSSPI) at the Texas A&M University is carrying out pre-conceptual design studies for the integration of modern safeguards directly into the planning and building of FBRFC facilities. A broad three step safeguards approach is adopted consisting of the following tasks; (1) to develop a quantitative flow diagram of SNM present at each of the FBRFC facilities, (2) develop a tool for the quantitative PR assessment of intrinsic and extrinsic barriers for a set of SNM diversion scenarios and (3) design a safeguards system by arriving at optimized material balance areas (MBA), material balance period (MBP), key measurement points (KMP) and the containment & surveillance program based on the risk informed data obtained from the PR assessment.rnAccordingly, the SNM flow diagram for the FBRFC was developed by employing MCNP/ORIGEN/MONTEBURNS computer codes choosing the Indian Proto-type FBR design details available from the open literature.rnPR assessment software, PRAETOR (proliferation resistance analysis and evaluation tool for observed risk) developed based on the well established multi-attribute utility analysis decision methodology as part of this research program is selected for the present study. A set of 21 SNM diversion scenarios for the FBRFC facilities (fuel fabrication, fast breeder reactor and fuel reprocessing) and a PWR spent fuel diversion scenario (for reference case) are analyzed using PRAETOR tool and the relative PR for these scenarios presented.rnThe details of setting up of MBAs, MBP, KMPs based on a classical safeguards approach for the three key facilities (fuel fabrication, fast breeder reactor and fuel reprocessing) of the FBRFC are presented. Risk informed safeguards approach employing the results of quantitative PR assessments provided by the PRAETOR tool is demonstrated for the fuel reprocessing facility and is compared with the classical safeguards approach.