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Scientific paper

Field Trial of the Enhanced Data Authentication System (EDAS)

ESARDA Bulletin - The International Journal of Nuclear Safeguards and Non-Proliferation


ISSN: 1977-5296, DOI: 10.3011/ESARDA.IJNSNP.2017.12
Publication date
1 June 2017
Joint Research Centre


Volume: 54, June 2017, pages 88-96,

Authors: M. Thomas1, R. Hymel1, G. Baldwin1, A. Smejkal2, R. Linnebach2

1Global Security Programs, Sandia National Laboratories, 2Nuclear Safeguards Directorate, European Commission Directorate-General for Energy


The Enhanced Data Authentication System (EDAS) is a means to securely branch information from an existing measurement system or data stream to a secondary observer. In an international nuclear safeguards context, the EDAS connects to operator instrumentation, and provides a cryptographically secure copy of the information for a safeguards inspectorate. This novel capability could be a complement to inspector-owned safeguards instrumentation, offering context that is valuable for anomaly resolution and contingency.

Sandia National Laboratories gathered operator and inspector requirements, and designed, developed, and fabricated prototype EDAS software and hardware. In partnership with Euratom, we performed an extended EDAS field trial at the Westinghouse Springfields nuclear fuel manufacturing facility in the United Kingdom. We inserted EDAS prototypes in operator instrumentation lines for a barcode scanner and weight scale at a portal where UF6 cylinders enter and exit the facility. The goal of the field trial was to demonstrate the utility of secure branching of operator instrumentation for nuclear safeguards, identify any unforeseen implementation and application issues, and confirm whether the approach is compatible with operator concerns and constraints.

During the field trial, the data streams were collected for nine months, and the EDASs branched 698 barcode and 663 weight scale events. Our analysis found that both EDAS units accurately branched 100% of the data that flowed through the instrumentation lines when we compared them to the recorded operator data. With multiple deployed EDASs we found that it is possible to correlate the branched data and create a more holistic narrative of facility activities. Euratom reported the field trial as a full success due to the continuous, correct, and secure branching of safeguards relevant data. At the same time, the operator is satisfied that EDAS did not interfere with plant operations in any way. The success of this field trial is an important step toward illustrating the potential and utility of EDAS as a safeguards tool.

Keywords: secure branching; data collection, field trial; operator instrumentation; unattended monitoring; minimally intrusive

Reference guideline:

Thomas, M., Hymel, R., Baldwin, G., Smejkal, A., & Linnebach, R. (2017). Field Trial of the Enhanced Data Authentication System (EDAS). ESARDA Bulletin - The International Journal of Nuclear Safeguards and Non-proliferation, 54, 88-96. ESARDA.IJNSNP.2017.12



Field Trial of the Enhanced Data Authentication System (EDAS)
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