50 years of safeguards challenges from an SSAC point of view

Erzsébet Földesi - Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority
Hedvig Eva Nagy - Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority
Zsolt Stefanka - Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority
Zsofia Galyas-Szepes - Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority
File Attachment
The Safeguards Agreement between the IAEA and Hungary in implementation of Article III, (1) and (4) of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear weapons was ratified by Hungary 50 years ago in 1972. Since then Hungary’s safeguards system has been facing numerous challenges. The SSAC – to meet the international requirements – was established successfully and developed continuously by the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority (HAEA). Additional Protocol brought challenge e.g. to place our closed-down uranium mine under IAEA safeguards and provide information which was not required for the operating mine, or to deexempt and include into the NMAC system nuclear materials which were exempted mostly 50 years ago etc. The year 2004 when Integrated Safeguards system was introduced and in the same year Hungary joined to the European Union prompted us to rethink the role of SSAC. During the years we met several technical challenges as well like to develop a safeguards system for dry storage of spent fuels from Paks NPP, a type of facility that was not under international safeguards at that time or reestablish the nuclear material accountancy of items from 30 spent fuel assemblies severely damaged due to an incident in the Paks NPP in 2013. Challenges are not over. Safeguards culture and the commitment of the safeguards professionals are on the focus now. Hungary (HAEA) introduced Safeguards Performance Assessment Indexes and Comprehensive Domestic Safeguards Verification System as regulatory safeguards culture measures. Regarding the new nuclear power plant in Paks the application of safeguards by design (SbD) is essential. SbD guidelines were edited and workshops were organized by the HAEA to properly include safeguards criteria in the design submitted by the new NPP for the construction licence. Based on the analysis of the past 50 years, it can be concluded that the operation of national and facility level safeguards systems that met the requirements of the international nuclear safeguards regime and were responsive to the continuous challenges resulted in a win-win situation for both the international non-proliferation regime and the Hungarian nuclear industry.