Arcana: The National Nuclear Materials And Signatures Database

Naomi Marks - Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Martin Robel - Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
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The National Nuclear Material Archive (NNMA) collects, characterizes, and preserves nuclear material samples of US origin. The NNMA function is to support attribution of materials discovered out of regulatory control. The program includes a physical archive of relevant materials; a robust materials characterization program; compilation of information about the samples in a database and data repository; and an assessment and query response process including statistical tools and subject matter expertise. The NNMA sample characterization work will produce a large quantity analytical data which must be captured and stored in such a way as to make it appropriately protected, accessible to stakeholders, and available for use for assessments and query response. Another important aspect of the NNMA dataset will be its richness and usefulness for identifying nuclear forensic signatures for archive materials. In support of this goal, we are currently developing Arcana: The National Nuclear Materials and Signatures Database. Arcana is a custom relational database specifically designed for efficient upload, storage, retrieval, and queries of NNMA data. Arcana employs a relational database structure implemented with Oracle SQL Developer and using the Oracle APEX web-browser interface for database administration and queries. Arcana is designed to facilitate streamlined data upload from multiple NNMA sites, as well as a straightforward query process. As in all relational databases, data are stored in a series of tables linked by a common data field. Central to the structure are two principal tables: the Sample Table and the Results Table. These tables are supported by a number of supplementary tables including metadata about the sample, material, process history, facility information and analytical details including QA/QC information, units, uncertainties, and a link to a source document archive. The flexible structure can accommodate detailed processing and signature information about each sample, as well as correlations between samples representing similar processes. Finally, Arcana will incorporate a subject matter expertise capability that is able to provide a timely response to queries from across the NNMA stakeholder community. The NNMA is led and managed by the Office of Nuclear Forensics, located in the Counterterrorism and Counterproliferation Office of the National Nuclear Security Administration.