Saturday, 29 July 2017
logo
Up-to-the-minute perspectives on defence, security and peace
issues from and for policy makers and opinion leaders.
        



dv-header-dday
     |      View our Twitter page at twitter.com/defenceredbox     |     

defenceindustry

By Martin Groarke

According to a report by the Nuclear Threat Initiative, scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico are in the process of developing 'detailed, virtual models of nuclear reactor facilities to help provide more true-to-life training to inspectors' whose job it is to monitor such sites for the illicit diversion—to non-peaceful purposes— of nuclear material. Reportedly involving the same computer tools as those used in the production of today's animated films, the team at Los Alamos have already built a three-dimensional model of a reactor in Idaho, including small details such as wiring, warning markers and radiation indicators. The system has been provided to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and, according to Kelly Michel, the official in charge of the project, has already helped IAEA safeguards officials to notably improve their inspection test scores.

Indeed, the training benefits are as obvious as they are huge. And the system could in time lead also to the development of safer and more secure facilities. 'In virtual reality, we can let people learn about a facility by standing in places that would not be safe or possible to stand,' noted Philip Hypes, a non-proliferation projects coordinator at Los Alamos. 'We can make walls and pipes transparent and actually watch material flow or not flow. We can treat an entire multibillion dollar facility as a laboratory where we play around
with different configurations of detectors and cameras and things, and essentially do experiments that would be prohibitively expensive if you tried to do them any other way.'

(c) Verification Research, Training and Information Centre (VERTIC) 2010. www.vertic.org. Reproduced with permission

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Cookies
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Defence Viewpoints website. However, if you would like to, you can modify your browser so that it notifies you when cookies are sent to it or you can refuse cookies altogether. You can also delete cookies that have already been set. You may wish to visit www.aboutcookies.org which contains comprehensive information on how to do this on a wide variety of desktop browsers. Please note that you will lose some features and functionality on this website if you choose to disable cookies. For example, you may not be able to link into our Twitter feed, which gives up to the minute perspectives on defence and security matters.