Concluding Remarks

Mark Mullen of Los Alamos National Laboratories closed the workshop by providing some overall comments on the workshop discussions. He argued that the international community should actively encourage international communication on these issues across the spectrum of professionals with nuclear energy expertise. Mullen suggested that the conundrum described by Charles Curtis—the gap between the significant threats posed by nuclear materials and the luke-warm response to those threats—posed the central question of the workshop: can sharing information on MPC&A practice help to narrow that gap? In Mullen’s view, based upon the workshop discussion, the answer is unequivocally yes.

Mullen pointed out that international forums such as this one could provide MPC&A experts with valuable ideas and information, including

  • ways of fostering a cycle of continuous MPC&A improvement

  • potential use of remote and continuous monitoring technologies for domestic MPC&A (not just for international safeguards and transparency)

  • ways of analyzing and addressing problems involving “culture”

    • security, safeguards, and nonproliferation cultures are distinct

    • issues such as motivation, attitudes, discipline, complacency are important

  • ways of ensuring that effective safeguards practices will be sustained into the future

  • ways of managing the consolidation of materials and facilities

  • methods of economizing on costs and increasing the efficiency of MPC&A

  • methods of, and experience in, analyzing, reviewing, and updating Design Basis Threat assessments



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OCR for page 51
Protection, Control, and Accounting of Nuclear Materials: International Challenges and National Programs - Workshop Summary Concluding Remarks Mark Mullen of Los Alamos National Laboratories closed the workshop by providing some overall comments on the workshop discussions. He argued that the international community should actively encourage international communication on these issues across the spectrum of professionals with nuclear energy expertise. Mullen suggested that the conundrum described by Charles Curtis—the gap between the significant threats posed by nuclear materials and the luke-warm response to those threats—posed the central question of the workshop: can sharing information on MPC&A practice help to narrow that gap? In Mullen’s view, based upon the workshop discussion, the answer is unequivocally yes. Mullen pointed out that international forums such as this one could provide MPC&A experts with valuable ideas and information, including ways of fostering a cycle of continuous MPC&A improvement potential use of remote and continuous monitoring technologies for domestic MPC&A (not just for international safeguards and transparency) ways of analyzing and addressing problems involving “culture” security, safeguards, and nonproliferation cultures are distinct issues such as motivation, attitudes, discipline, complacency are important ways of ensuring that effective safeguards practices will be sustained into the future ways of managing the consolidation of materials and facilities methods of economizing on costs and increasing the efficiency of MPC&A methods of, and experience in, analyzing, reviewing, and updating Design Basis Threat assessments

OCR for page 51
Protection, Control, and Accounting of Nuclear Materials: International Challenges and National Programs - Workshop Summary how to disseminate or propagate technological knowledge, including why some are more successful than others in transferring good ideas and approaches into practical applications implementing new technologies human reliability issues and dealing with the “insider threat” modernization of MPC&A through both incremental and revolutionary improvements Mullen acknowledged that a number of forums already exist for exchanging information on MPC&A practice. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) plays a key role in these efforts, and professional societies, symposia, and conferences are all useful and important. He argued, however, that the urgency of the problem should motivate us to develop additional pathways for exchanging information and coordinating activities. Possible avenues for sharing best practices on MPC&A might include additional exchanges of technical information, training courses and seminars, and peer-to-peer exchanges. Further bilateral and multilateral program activities would also provide some important opportunities for sharing ideas, and it may be possible to accelerate some existing programs by opening new pathways for communication. Mullen argued that there are a number of organizations which also might have a useful role in this ongoing dialogue. Professional societies, such as the Institute for Nuclear Materials Management, nuclear societies of many countries, and security societies might participate. Universities with expertise in nuclear science and technology could contribute significantly and are definitely an under-utilized resource in this arena. The participation of industry groups would also be important, and there might be some room to consider forming new industrial associations in support of the effort. Groups such as the Institute of Nuclear Power Operation and the World Association of Nuclear Operators might be important forums, and there might even be room for a “World Association of Nuclear Security Operations.” Mullen closed by suggesting that it would also be important to facilitate links among these groups and organizations, so that the exchange of information on best practices in MPC&A is as effective as possible.