Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Incorporating Statistical Uncertainty into Nuclear Material Diversion Pathway Analysis using Probabilistic Risk Assessment Público Deposited

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  • A Level 1 probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) is applied to a plutonium button-making process, but in regards to the risk of diversion (or theft) of special nuclear material (SNM) rather than the risk of mechanical failure. The main objective of the project was to identify the relative vulnerability of areas in the process, with the motive of improving nuclear safeguards analysis by developing a quantitative measure for safeguards. The unavailability of data concerning the failure rates of safeguards measures necessitated the use of random sampling through Python. Multiple distributions were considered to investigate the effect of the chosen distribution on the system's vulnerability. The relative distribution of diversion probabilities persists despite the change in the chosen distribution, with one area consistently being the most vulnerable and a different area consistently being the least vulnerable. Ideas for improvements and future work are also discussed.
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