Integrated Nuclear Archaeology


Malte  Göttsche © Copyright: Daniel Kunzfeld


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  Facilities and production paths for plutonium and highly enriched uranium. Copyright: Malte Göttsche

As of today, mainly two approaches to reconstruct past fissile material production can be considered: First, some concepts for measurements in shut-down facilities and of radioactive wastes have been suggested that could be taken today to gain information about the past. However, there are cases where the production history cannot be reconstructed with low uncertainty based on measurements alone.

Second, information from documentation of past nuclear facility operations can be used as input to simulation tools to quantify the produced fissile materials. However, information from such records will have uncertainties; there will even be missing information.

We propose to expand this toolbox with an approach that combines the different methods for an integrated assessment. Taking data from various sources into account directly allows for consistency-checking. Furthermore, using Bayesian inference and numerical methods, more reliable estimates of parameters relating to the fuel cycle history can potentially be obtained - at least for small nuclear programmes.