Argonne National Laboratory
Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors
Nuclear Engineering Division at Argonne
U.S. Department of Energy

IAEA/USA Interregional course on
Preparations to Ship Spent Nuclear Fuel (1997)

Nuclear Material Accountability

PDF version available
DOWNLOAD full paper in PDF format.

Mr. Garald Smith
Department of Energy
Idaho Operations Office
850 Energy Drive, MS 1170
Idaho Falls, ID 83401-1563
Tel.: +1-208-526-5200
Fax: +1-208-526-xxxx

IAEA/USA Interregional Training Course

Technical and Administrative Preparations Required for Shipment of Research Reactor Spent Fuel to its Country of Origin

13-24 January 1997
Argonne, IL

Nuclear Material Accountability

Garald Smith
U.S. Department of Energy
Idaho Operations Office


1. Safeguards

2. Materials Control

3. Materials Accountability

Objective: To meet U.S. and International safeguards requirements and to be compatible with receipt criteria at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory


Establish physical protection, material accounting, and material control to deter, prevent, detect, and respond to unauthorized possession, use, or sabotage of nuclear material.

Vision: Safeguards

1. Ensure that the Foreign Research Reactor (FRR) material delivered to the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) is the same material that left the reactor.

2. Ensure that nuclear material transfer records are complete and accurate.

Materials Control and Accountability
FRR Material, Packaging and Cask Loading

1. Provide material inventory control.

2. Provide accounting records.

3. Uniquely identify each TRIGA item.

4. Maintain controls using seals, monitoring or both.

Physical Inventory Control

1. Characterize the material (content, weight, description, containers ...)

2. Determine material content by direct measurements.

  • Nondestructive Assay (NDA) if practical.
  • Use statistical methods to reduce costs while keeping high confidence.

3. Calculate content based on history, burn-up, manufacturer's data (TRIGA).

Material Accountability


Verify that U-235 is present and that enrichment is consistent with calculated values.

1. Provide physical description of each item.

2. Provide unique identification numbers for each item and container.

What is Needed

IAEA, reactor operator inventory such as ...

  • Container descriptions, serial numbers.
  • Fuel history.
  • Number of elements and containers.
  • Weight of material, containers.
  • Nuclear isotopic information.

Nuclear Material Transaction Report
(This form is also called the Form 741)

1. Needed for Batch Transfer from IAEA to U.S. Identifiers (in accordance with U.S. DOE requirements and U.S. Codes of Federal Regulations).

2. Reporting Identification Symbols (RIS), Names and Addresses, License Numbers.

3. Conversions between IAEA and U.S. identification numbers.

Form 741 Example

A blank copy of the Form 741 has been included in your handouts.

1. The term SHIPPER (blocks 1, 5, 7, and so forth) refers to the REACTOR FACILITY, not the transporter or carrier.

2. Blocks 1, 9A, 12, 13B, 15, 16A, 16B, 20 (date of shipment), 22, 24C (identification), and 24 I (owner code) must be provided at the point of origin ... shipper site.


 We have covered:

1. MATERIALS CONTROL assurance that no diversion or theft occurs. It includes seals, observation, descriptions of material and containers, times, dates, people involved.

2. MATERIAL ACCOUNTABILITY ledgers, accounting records, calculations, field notes ...

3. PHYSICAL PROTECTION seals, package locks, electronic monitors, et cetera used to ensure that material is identified and retained under constant control.

2016 RERTR Meeting

The 2016 International RERTR Meeting (RERTR-2016) will take place in Belgium. Stay tuned for further details.

2015 RERTR Meeting

The 2015 International RERTR Meeting (RERTR-2015) took place in Seoul, Korea on Oct. 11-14, 2015.
For more information visit RERTR-2015.

Useful Links


ARGONNE NATIONAL LABORATORY, Nuclear Engineering Division, RERTR Department
9700 South Cass Ave., Argonne, IL 60439-4814
A U.S. Department of Energy laboratory managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC

Last modified on July 29, 2008 11:33 +0200