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Using Nonproliferation Assessment Tool (Nat) Software For Teaching Proliferation Concepts Associated With The Nuclear Fuel Cycle

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Information Technology in Nuclear and Radiological Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Nuclear and Radiological

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1399.1 - 11.1399.15



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Paper Authors


Kendra Foltz Biegalski University of Texas

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Dr. Kendra Foltz Biegalski is a Research Engineer in the Nuclear and Radiation Engineering Program. She has fifteen years experience in nuclear engineering, nuclear and chemical analytical techniques, and two years of nuclear reactor operations. She has thirteen years domestic and international experience in scientific research and collaboration as well as two years experience in the teaching, training, and licensing of nuclear scientists and nuclear reactor operators. Dr. Foltz Biegalski specializes in nuclear data analysis algorithm development for software applications. Prior to working for the University of Texas, Dr. Foltz Biegalski utilized her expertise to support the development of technology in support of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). This includes the development of software to analyze beta-gamma coincidence data from radioxenon monitoring systems.

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Victoria Pratt University of Texas-Austin

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Ms. Victoria S. Pratt graduated from the University of Texas in Austin's (UT-Austin) nuclear engineering department in May 2005, where she completed her thesis on a non-proliferation related topic. Before attending UT-Austin, Ms. Pratt was employed for two years by a semiconductor equipment manufacturer where she specialized in ergonomics and discrete events modelling, capitalizing on her undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering. After completion of her graduate degree, she participates in the Brookhaven National Laboratory's United States Support Program internship to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Currently, she is working in the Safeguards Technical Support Organization, Section of Non-destructive Equipment (NDA) and Seals, Portable NDA Equipment unit located in Vienna, Austria.

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Tomer Pintel University of Texas-Austin

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Mr. Tomer Pintel is a software developer.

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Sheldon Landsberger University of Texas-Austin

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Dr. Sheldon Landsberger is a Professor in the Nuclear and Radiation Engineering Program and Director of the Nuclear Engineering Teaching Lab. He is primarily involved in the determination of heavy metals in environmental samples using nuclear analytical methods. He has had experience many years of experience in analyzing air samples from the Arctic, Great Lakes, and other urban and rural areas. In particular he has developed improved nuclear techniques to better determine the elements of critical importance in identifying regional sources of airborne particles, and characterizing solid waste leaching dynamics. His current research interests include low-level counting of natural radioactivity, corrosion studies, Compton suppression gamma-ray spectrometry and risk assessment in radioactivity handling.

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Michael Whitaker Oak Ridge National Laboratory

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Michael Whitaker is the Manager of the Safeguards Group with the Oak Ridge National Laborator⁹s Nuclear Science and Technology Division. He coordinates the Oak Ridge technical support to the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of International Safeguards and to the United States Support Programme for IAEA Safeguards. Projects of current emphasis include addressing the effectiveness of international safeguards at uranium enrichment facilities, preparing the implementation of the Additional Protocol in the United States, and assisting foreign entities in completing their initial inventory declarations to the IAEA. Mr. Whitaker has been involved in safeguards for over 20 years and holds degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Management from the University of Tennessee.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Using Nonproliferation Assessment Tool Software (NAT) for Teaching Proliferation Concepts Regarding the Nuclear Fuel Cycle


The University of Texas at Austin has developed a software package, the Nonproliferation Assessment Tool (NAT), supported by a contract with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Nuclear Science and Technology Division, International Safeguards Group. The NAT software package is an advancement in the field of nuclear nonproliferation because of its ability to collect, manipulate, analyze, and store large amounts of Nuclear Fuel Cycle (NFC) facility data in order to produce a comparative Proliferation Resistance (PR) value as well as a Nuclear Security (NS) measure for NFC facilities and facility chains, respectively. With non-proliferation and nuclear fuel cycle courses now becoming more popular with both graduate and undergraduate nuclear engineering courses, it is worthwhile to develop an interactive software program that can readily explain the major concepts in these areas. These capabilities can be utilized to teach students about the facilities that comprise the NFC as well as how different parameters affect the PR or NS value of a facility or chain of facilities, respectively.

Which Students Can Best Benefit from the NAT

It is recommended to incorporate NAT into nuclear engineering courses focusing on fuel cycles or nonproliferation in the junior year and above. Graduate students interested in proliferation resistance quantification methodologies can also benefit from the NAT software. Students who can name the basic facilities used in the nuclear fuel cycle and understand their purpose will reap the greatest benefits from the incorporation of the NAT software into their coursework.

Using NAT to Teach Students about NFC Facilities

When using the NAT software package, the user is first required to enter pertinent data on the NFC facilities of interest. The following facility types are included in the software: 1. Mine/Mill 2. Conversion 3. Enrichment 4. Fuel Fabrication 5. Reactor 6. Reprocessing 7. Permanent Storage

All facilities require descriptive information such as the facility name, country, location, latitude, longitude, etc. The quantitative data required for each facility type differs somewhat due to the nature of each, but many fields are synonymous for all facilities. Table 1 lists all the required fields for each facility type. There is a Help function that,

Foltz Biegalski, K., & Pratt, V., & Pintel, T., & Landsberger, S., & Whitaker, M. (2006, June), Using Nonproliferation Assessment Tool (Nat) Software For Teaching Proliferation Concepts Associated With The Nuclear Fuel Cycle Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--723

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