Nuclear Safeguards are measures to verify that States comply with their international obligations not to use nuclear materials (plutonium, uranium and thorium) for nuclear explosives purposes. Global recognition of the need for such verification is reflected in the requirements of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) for the application of safeguards by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Also, the Treaty Establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (the Euratom Treaty) includes requirements for the application of safeguards by the European Commission. Organizations such as the IAEA and EURATOM and others are tasked with ensuring declared amounts of material are indeed present in the facilities in which they are stored and that such material is not being diverted to other uses.
Sometimes referred to as MPC&A (Materials protection, control and accountancy) and more generally as Nuclear Materials Security, safeguards has become more recently the subject of renewed interest as representing the first line of defense against nuclear materials diversion.
New applications are emerging such as the field of Nuclear Forensics.
ORTEC has supplied such equipment in the form of specialized components and system for many years.
Non-Destructive Assay (NDA) Techniques
NDA techniques are applied to a broader range of applications than nuclear safeguards alone, which historically have meant the accountancy of declared quantities of nuclear materials by safeguards inspection organizations. The techniques of non-destructive assay measurement are applied across a broader range of measurment problems to establish the quantities of nuclear materials present in samples of various types. The broad ORTEC product lines for safeguards and non-destructive assay derive from ORTEC own developed product, product licensed from leading national laboratories and centres of excellence, and from commercial partners whose products ORTEC distributes and supports.