A Licensing & Engineering Security-by-Design Model for Advanced & Small Modular Reactors

Adam Williams - Sandia National Laboratories
Alan Evans - Sandia National Laboratories
Katherine Holt - Office of International Nuclear Security, National Nuclear Security Administration
Security-by-Design (SeBD) is a concept that has been garnering increased attention in professional discussions and gaining traction in commercial dialogues—particularly in support of increasing popularity of advanced and small reactor (A/SMR) technologies. The efficacy of SeBD faces a range of challenges, including (but not limited to) increasing complexity in anticipated operating environments for new nuclear facilities, non-traditional internal sources of uncertainty (e.g., new safety protocols for advanced reactors),developing standards on acceptable performance, and next generation security threats (e.g. UAS). Yet, there remains a prevailing believe that SeBD can conceptually address these challenges, reduce associated costs, and enhance security performance. Current research for the Civilian Nuclear Security Program (CNSP) for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Office of International Nuclear Security (NNSA/INS)—supported by Sandia National Laboratories—is addressing the SeBD challenge. More specifically, CNSP is leveraging the experienced professionals of INS’ nuclear security work around the world and current round of engagement with industry partners to develop a coherent approach to SeBD. Invoking elements of generic engineering lifecycle models, licensing lifecycle models, and complex systems analysis, CNSP has developed an SeBD model for A/SMRs. By employing the clarity and consensus provided by lifecycle models, a common understanding of the benefits and opportunities for SeBD becomes available for A/SMR stakeholders. Such an SeBD model also provides the foundation for discussions on optimizing security designs and decisions across the A/SMR performance, cost, and licensing tradespace. After introducing the range of current approaches and discussing related gaps, this paper introduces key elements of lifecycle models, licensing lifecycle models, and complex systems analysis necessary to develop a more robust SeBD model for A/SMRs. Next, this paper discusses the logical foundation for the resulting lifecycle-based SeBD model, including a preliminary mapping against the current state of A/SMR licensing requirements and a set of representative examples of SeBD opportunities. Lastly, this paper will discuss key insights, representative implications, and summarize potential next steps for developing—and deploying—this lifecycle model of SeBD. *SAND2022-2022-1494 A. Sandia National Laboratorie s is a multimission laboratory managed and operated by National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia, LLC., a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell