Title: A Systems Thinking Approach to Open Source Analysis in Support of Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Publisher: American Nuclear Society
Publication Year: 2016
JRC N°: JRC101328
URI: http://www.ans.org/store/vc-prcd/
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Nuclear energy programmes are complex engineering programmes lasting several years, involving multiple sites and a substantial number of personnel with a wide range of expertise. States willing to embark in such an enterprise would have to either sign the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and benefit from the transfer of technology enabled by its membership or develop the necessary science, technology and industrial capability autonomously. States signatories of the NPT renounce the possibility to develop a nuclear military programme and are subject to international nuclear safeguards implemented by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Within its State Level Concept, the IAEA envisions an objective-based and information driven approach for designing and implementing State Level Approaches (SLAs). To achieve its objectives the Agency foresees the adoption of a holistic approach, in which all the information gathered is analyzed and assessed as a whole “…to draw and maintain a conclusion of the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in that State.” . While the Agency, in its assessment, performs an all-source analysis making use of all the information and knowledge available to it , either closed-source (official State’s declarations, inspection data, third parties information) or open source, other treaty monitoring regimes often rely on fewer potential sources. No matter the domain in which open source analysis is employed to inform international treaties monitoring, the IAEA intuition about the need for holism to be effective needs to be seriously taken into account. This paper provides an overview of what is open source analysis when taking a holistic perspective and how it could be used to detect and monitor a complex engineering programme as a nuclear energy programme, here described adopting a systems thinking, holistic point of view.
JRC Directorate:Nuclear Safety and Security

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