Title: The EURATOM Safeguards on-site Laboratories at the Reprocessing Plants of La Hague and Sellafield ¿ Ten Years of Operation
Citation: Symposium on International Safeguards Preparing for Future Verification Challenges, 1-5 November 2010, Vienna, Austria p. 1-8
Publisher: IAEA
Publication Year: 2010
JRC N°: JRC61873
URI: http://www.iaea.org/OurWork/SV/Safeguards/Symposium/2010/Documents/Papers.htm
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Euratom safeguards was the first international safeguards organisation having to cope with nuclear material safeguards in huge industrial scale reprocessing facilities. The four plants in the UK (Magnox, Thorp) and France (UP2, UP3) were built in two sites. Thorough analysis concluded that sampling is needed; the transport of the samples to a central Euratom laboratory should be avoided. It was decided to establish laboratories on the site of Sellafield and La Hague. These laboratories were opened about ten years ago and have been working continuously. They are staffed by experts of the Institute for Transuranium Elements, JRC-ITU, at Karlsruhe. ITU staff is present on-site for more than 40 weeks per year, ensuring a continuous flow of samples and of results. The laboratories receive samples from all the plants on the respective sites, with input solution, plutonium products (including mixed oxides) and inventory samples being the most important type of material. The criteria for selection of the measurement methods for these samples are based on a combination of highest possible accuracy and a minimum of resource consumption. The data can be used for direct comparison with the operator¿s results and they allow an evaluation of the material flows and material balance in a timely manner. The paper will give an overview of 10 years of operation of the laboratories. Emphasis will be on analytical techniques, measurement uncertainties, and on the renovation of measurement equipment, which is becoming a serious issue after ten years of operation. The first major equipment replacement carried out now is the exchange of a mass spectrometer at the Sellafield laboratory. The safeguards impact will be discussed, and the lessons learned and the way forward will be presented.
JRC Directorate:Nuclear Safety and Security

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