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Nuclear Safeguards

Designing systems and processes to prevent the proliferation of nuclear materials

The Centre for Science and Security Studies (CSSS) is carrying out research into nuclear safeguards. These systems and processes are designed to prevent the proliferation of nuclear materials. Research in this area supports the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in developing new approaches to make IAEA safeguards more effective.

Over the last few years, the Centre has worked on behalf of the IAEA UK Support Programme to carry out research and develop new tools and techniques for trade analysis.Trade analysis is an important aspect of IAEA safeguards as it is one of the few techniques available to the IAEA that can reveal the presence of undeclared nuclear activity in a state.

Funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, researchers at CSSS have also developed tools and techniques with utility in open source analysis. Open source information, of which trade data is one type, includes everything from academic publications to social media content. 

Recently, research has focused on developing tools to systematically mine and process such data to reveal proliferation-relevant insights that should be reviewed by a human analyst. This work has led to the development of the Alpha-POST data platform. CSSS researchers in this area are currently focusing on refining machine learning models to identify safeguards-relevant data.

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