Research in nuclear safeguards

Safeguards research and development at the Institute of Isotopes started in the 1970-es addressing the following objectives:
  • Satisfy domestic needs
  • Assist IAEA inspectors to verify spent-fuel assemblies at the Paks Nuclear power plant
  • Explore novel methods for safeguards purposes

Examples of previous safeguards-related projects at the Institute are the following:

  • A portable spent fuel attribute tester (PSFTAT) based on medium-resolution gamma-spectrometry has been developed by the Institute, on behalf of the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority. This device is in routine use by the inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at the Paks nuclear power plant in Hungary. More
  • Several methods for determining the Plutonium content of Pu-Be neutron sources were developed at the Institute, based on high-resolution gamma-spectroscopy and neutron coincidence counting. The methods have been applied for determining the Pu content of some 80 discarded Pu-Be sources before they were transported to a storage of radioactive waste. More
  • In order to fulfill its safeguards obligations, the nuclear power plant in Paks, Hungary, has entrusted the Institute with determining the nuclear-material content of canisters containing a mixture of damaged spent fuel assemblies. For this purpose the institute has developed a measurement device based on gamma-spectrometry and neutron counting.More
  • It has been demonstrated that low-background, high-resolution gamma spectrometry can successfully be used for on-the-spot age dating of research-reactor fuel rods. More
  • And others ...

Bellow please find a list of recent selected publications related to nuclear safeguards.
  • Cong Tam Nguyen: Verification of the content, isotopic composition and age of plutonium in Pu-Be neutron sources by gamma-spectrometry, Nucl.Instrum.Meth. B251 (2006) 227-236
  • Jozsef Zsigrai, Cong Tam Nguyen, Laszlo Lakosi: Determining the nuclear-material content of a mixture of damaged spent fuel within sealed containers at the Paks NPP, Proceedings of the 27th ESARDA Annual Meeting, Symposium on Safeguards and Nuclear Material Management, London, 10-12 May, 2005; European Communities, 2005
  • Janos Bagi, Tam Cong Nguyen, Laszlo Lakosi: Assessment of the Pu content of Pu-Be neutron sources, Nucl.Instrum.Meth. B 222 (2004) 242-248

See also : Nuclear safeguards services