Nuclear Material Accountancy and Audit Focus Group (NMACAF)

Terms of Reference and Objectives

Objectives

The overall aim of the group is to provide the Safeguards Community with expert advice on the norms and best practice of nuclear material accountancy systems and the audit of such systems in support of safeguards verification. The group will give guidance and make recommendations on:

  1. Best practice nuclear material management systems and their suitability for international standards certification
  2. The process of audit against such practice
  3. The contribution of audit to the overall safeguards inspection and verification objectives
Tasks
  1. Assemble all relevant and available information and ideas and any specific needs of some member states.
  2. Evaluate the information and agree on guidelines and criteria for accountancy quality such that these criteria can be used as reference points in NMAC audits.
  3. Formulate advice for member states and for Euratom Safeguards within the framework of the document "A New Framework for Euratom Safeguards", which was agreed by the Council Working Party on Atomic Questions in December 2005 and subsequently noted by the Council Permanent Representatives Committee (COREPER), who supported the Working Party on Atomic Questions regarding the work plan and modalities for progressing the framework further.
  4. Identify and conduct any further information gathering.
  5. Communicate progress to the ESARDA Executive and finalise a report by end of 2006.
  6. Issues to consider include
  • What could constitute a reference against which Euratom Safeguards could conduct its audit of NMA systems;
  • Usefulness of ISO9001 accreditation for NMA system assurance;
  • Recommendations on the process & tools available for conducting and evaluating audits;
  • How audit results can complement other inspection activities and thus their role in future safeguards approaches;
  • Scope of the WG; Contributions from outside the EU; Limitation to Special fissile material; excludes physical security etc;
  • Advantages/disadvantages (SWOT: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) of audit. Impact analysis on physical verification;
  • Review of audit levels, flexibility, barriers to its use, appropriate competencies and training.