Proliferation sensitivity of dual use equipment for laser isotope separation

G. Janssens-Maenhout, J. Creemers, J.F.A. Delbeke, S. Contini

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The international nuclear security is strengthened by explicit import/export control of dual-use equipment. This paper reports on a methodology applying Fault Tree Analysis (FTA) to enhance this control by detecting changes in import behaviour. The methodology is applied to the import of a combination of components that might be used for the construction of Laser Isotope Separation (LIS)plants. The critical components that are necessary for the construction of a LIS plant are determined and implemented in a Tree structure. The fractions of the critical components’ export to the total export are converted to probabilities, which are inserted in the constructed Tree. The Tree is analysed by the Fault Tree Analyser ASTRA that calculates the Top Event probability, Minimal Cut Sets (MCS) and the Criticality Index. The latter is interpreted as a deviation in import behaviour of a given nation for sensitive components. The evolution in time of the Top Event probability is obtained by analyzing real data from five year periods, in seven subsequent time frames,starting with the period 1995-1999 towards the final period 2001-2005. This technique provides a powerful tool to re–analyse import statistics by evaluating the change in import of a combination of sensitive components. It is found that five year periods show a meaningful evolution of the Top Event probability and are a good estimate. However, the five year time frame conditions the analysis of the change in infrastructure and equipment with potential use for laser enrichment. Advanced versions of this probabilistic method may provide customs services with an effective tool that is of potential use for detecting anomalies in import behaviour of LIS or other sensitive technologies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 29th ESARDA annual meeting: symposium on safeguards and nuclear material management, France, Aix-en-Provence
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


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