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Safeguards and Security Technology

The Safeguards & Security Technology (SST) Group provides technical expertise to the global nuclear security and safeguards community. The staff has significant experience and expertise in

  • developing technical measures and approaches for enhancing domestic and international safeguards
  • developing measurement and detection systems for nuclear and radiological materials
  • securing and monitoring nuclear and radiological material
  • training practitioners and facility operators in effective materials control and accountability practices

The SST Group hosts facilities, laboratories, test beds, and classroom environments that support safeguards and security research and development missions, technology evaluations, the development of applied solutions to real-world nuclear security issues, and the training of safeguards and security professionals.

The Safeguards Laboratory holds a comprehensive set of field-deployable instrumentation for safeguards system development and training. The goal is to lead the international safeguards community by educating and instructing tomorrow’s engineers and scientists, who will inspect nuclear facilities against nonproliferation treaty or arms-control agreements; to develop integrated systems for remote and unattended monitoring; and to provide operations leadership in the application of various non-destructive assay (NDA) technologies in emerging material control and accountability challenges.

The Containment and Surveillance Systems Laboratory evaluates and develops custom technology for a variety of safeguards and security applications. The lab also specializes in integrating technology for sealing, monitoring, and tracking nuclear material in a variety of environments.

The Hybrid K-Edge Densitometer Laboratory (HKED) combines K-edge densitometry with X-ray fluorescence to determine isotopic composition of samples taken from the process stream. With no sample preparation required and turnaround times of approximately 20 minutes, the HKED is a good alternative to traditional mass spectrometry measurements.

The Safeguards Systems Laboratory provides large-scale NDA systems that support additional capabilities for passive and active assaying of nuclear materials. These systems also support a larger variety of container sizes that include

  • the Segment Gamma Scanner, a drum assay system that collects data as a drum rotates and detectors are vertically indexed
  • the Californium-252 Shuffler, an active NDA measurement system that induces fission in a wide variety of samples containing special nuclear material through the rapid insertion/ removal of a strong Cf-252 neutron source
  • the Package Monitor, a differential die-away time measurement technique that utilizes a neutron generator and an array of helium tubes to detect the present of gamma-shielded nuclear materials
  • the Calorimeter, which utilizes fission heat to quantify the amount of nuclear material present in a container

The Security Science Field Laboratory supports the complete evaluation of a wide range of intrusion detection, assessment, and peripheral physical security hardware equipment, including sensors, cameras, alarm communication and displays, power generation, access control, unattended stand-alone, remote communications, unmanned aerial, activated delay, and other types of systems.