Establishing and advancing electronic nuclear material accounting capabilities: A Canadian perspective

Abstract of a technical paper presented at:
IAEA’s Symposium on International Safeguards: Linking Strategy, Implementation and People
Vienna, Austria
October 22–24, 2014

Prepared by:
Jennifer Sample
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


Under safeguards agreements that the Government of Canada has with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and nuclear cooperation agreements with other states, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) is required to track the inventory and movement of all safeguarded material. As safeguards programs evolve, including the implementation of Integrated Safeguards, the scope of the reporting requirements for facilities within Canada has also increased. At the same time, ensuring the secure transmission of the associated data continues to be an overarching factor. The changes that are occurring in the nuclear material accounting (NMA) landscape have necessitated a modernization of Canada’s accounting and reporting system, with the objective of creating a more effective and efficient system, while at the same time maintaining the security of prescribed information. After a review of the environment, the CNSC embarked on a project that would encourage facilities to transition away from traditional modes of NMA reporting and adopt an electronic approach. This paper will discuss how the changes to Canada’s NMA infrastructure were identified and implemented internally to allow for optimized electronic reporting. Improvements included the development of the regulatory and guidance documents, the overhaul of the reporting forms, the upgrade of the CNSC’s NMA database, and the development of an electronic reporting platform that leveraged existing technologies. The paper will also discuss the logistics of engaging stakeholders throughout the process, launching the system and soliciting feedback for future system improvements. Special consideration will be given to the benefits realized by both the CNSC and facilities who have voluntarily embraced electronic reporting. The final objective of this paper will be to identify the challenges that were faced by the CNSC and the nuclear industry as the system changes were implemented and to highlight how these obstacles were overcome or will be addressed.

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