Antineutrino Reactor Safeguards: A Case Study of the DPRK 1994 Nuclear Crisis

Eric Christensen, Patrick Huber, Patrick Jaffke, "Antineutrino Reactor Safeguards: A Case Study of the DPRK 1994 Nuclear Crisis," Science & Global Security 23, no. 1 (2015): 20-47

In this article a case study of the application of antineutrino safeguards to a real-world scenario, the North Korean nuclear crisis in 1994, is presented. Detection limits to a partial or full core discharge in 1989 based on actual IAEA safeguards access are derived and it is found that two independent methods would have yielded positive evidence for a second core with very high confidence. To generalize these results, detailed estimates for the sensitivity to the plutonium content of various types of reactors, including most types of plutonium production reactors, are presented, based on detailed reactor simulations. A key finding of this study is that a wide class of reactors with a thermal power of 0.1-1 gigawatt can be safeguarded achieving IAEA goals for quantitative sensitivity and timeliness with antineutrino detectors adjacent to the reactor building. Antineutrino reactor monitoring does not rely on the continuity of knowledge and provides information about core inventory and power status in a timely fashion. The necessary detection systems do not exist yet but are expected to become available within two to five years.

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