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The U.S. Support Program to IAEA Safeguards - Destructive Analysis Priority
Brookhaven National Laboratory
P.O. Box 5000, Upton, N.Y. 11973-5000
The U.S. Support Program (USSP) to IAEA Safeguards priority of destructive analysis is aimed at
strengthening the IAEA's ability to use destructive analysis as a safeguards tool. IAEA inspectors
bring back nuclear and environmental samples from inspections, which are first cataloged by the
IAEA and then analyzed by a network of laboratories located in many Member States and the
IAEA's own Safeguards Analytical Laboratory in Seibersdorf, Austria. Historically, the USSP was
instrumental in introducing environmental sampling techniques to the IAEA in order to enhance its
understanding of material processing activities conducted at nuclear facilities. The USSP has also
worked with the IAEA to improve understanding of measurement uncertainty and measurement
quality, incorporate new and improved analytical methods, and purchase analytical and computer
equipment. Recent activities include a temporary increase in analysis of environmental samples
using secondary ion mass spectrometry and provision of a cost-free expert to restore secondary ion
mass spectroscopy laboratory functionality and to modernize the IAEA's Safeguards Analytical
Laboratory Information System.
Note: The above abstract was submitted just prior to a revision of this priority area by the USSP.
The following discussion will address the revised priority now renamed "Analysis and Evaluation
of Inspection Samples." The revised priority views destructive analysis (DA) and other analytical
methods in the context of the entire end-to-end process from sample collection planning to
evaluation of analytical results. This expanded view of the entire process yields a greater
understanding of it so that the USSP can make better decisions for supporting the IMEA.
Analysis and Evaluation of Inspection Samples - Background and History
The IAEA Department of Safeguards relies on the IAEA's Safeguards Analytical Laboratory (SAL)
at its Seibersdorf Laboratory and the associated Network of Analytical Laboratories (NWAL),
located in many Member States, to analyze IAEA inspection samples in order to verify the
correctness and completeness of a State's declaration. Each sample may be analyzed using one or
more methods of destructive analysis and/or non-destructive analysis or assay (NDA) in an attempt
to gain knowledge about the sample's composition, quantity, age, processing history, and other
unique attributes. Safeguards inspectors collect samples, and Safeguards support divisions distribute
them to SAL and the NWAL for analysis, afterwards evaluating the analysis results for input to
Safeguards' verification reports. Keys to maintaining the effectiveness of inspection sample
analysis and evaluation include judicious planning for sample collection (types and number of
samples collected), improving measurement sensitivity and quality control, selecting and
maintaining appropriate tools, controlling costs, and maintaining a highly qualified and efficient
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Hoffheins,B. The U.S. Support Program to IAEA Safeguards - Destructive Analysis, article, July 13, 2008; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc897101/m1/3/: accessed September 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.