Early Results From Applying A Multilayered Network Framework To Engineer Nuclear Security Systems

Adam D. Williams - Sandia National Laboratories
Gabriel C Birch - Sandia National Laboratories
Susan A Caskey - Sandia National Laboratories
Elizabeth Fleming - Sandia National Laboratories
Thushara Gunda - Sandia National Laboratories
Thomas Adams - Sandia National Laboratories
Jamie Wingo - Sandia National Laboratories
Jami Stverak - Sandia National Laboratories
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Engineering nuclear security systems is a consistently challenging endeavor that requires sociotechnical solutions capable of addressing evolving and dynamic complexity. Next-generation engineering approaches for securing nuclear facilities and materials need to address challenges stemming from complex risk environments, innovative adversaries, and disruptive technologies. Leveraging key insights from the advances across several academic domains provide opportunities for incorporating systems security engineering to generate nuclear security solutions capable of addressing these sources of complexity.Current research at Sandia National Laboratories hypothesizes a systems security engineering approach that describes nuclear security as a multidomain system visualized as multiple, interacting layers. From this perspective, security performance is a set of emergent behaviors from complex system interactions rather than traditional, highly linear security models. Building on the strong history of current approaches, this research re-examines core analytical assumptions for nuclear security to better incorporate interdependencies, dynamics, and nth-order effects observed—and anticipated—in operational environments for nuclear security. The result is a multilayered network-based approach that captures the interactions between infrastructure, physical components, digital components, and humans in nuclear security systems.Key themes generated by a series of qualitative, semi-structured interviews (and several focus groups) from various high consequence security experts highlight the need for integrating complex system theory and resilience science in methodological assessments. Next, this paper will discuss how these empirical insights were translated into a multilayered network framing, including a review of various multilayered network representations. This paper will then share some example results from applying this approach to nuclear security—including some novel outcomes. Lastly, this paper will discuss insights, implications, and the potential for future work in multilayered network-based approach for nuclear security.SAND2021-1897A. SNL is managed and operated by NTESS under DOE NNSA contract DE-NA0003525