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Three properties of Distributed Ledger Technology systems applied in the nuclear sector adding value to safeguards – immutability, timestamping and auditability

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

Details

Identification
ISSN: 1977-5296, DOI: 10.3011/ESARDA.IJNSNP.2021.6
Publication date
1 June 2021
Author
Joint Research Centre

Description

Volume: 62, June 2021, pages 60-79,

Authors: Marco Sachy, Roberto Spigolon and Stefan Nonneman

European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC)

Abstract:

We present our preliminary findings from the exploratory research project Shared Ledger Technologies for Nuclear Safeguards (SLT4SFG) conducted at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. As long as nuclear fuel (fresh or spent) is stored in facilities of a state, that state should always comply with the international non-proliferation treaty. Safeguards’ verification processes will be affected also by the digital transformation. The exploratory research project SLT4SFG, has the objective to provide an evidence-based analysis on the benefits and challenges of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) systems for the nuclear sector, with special emphasis on safeguards. After presenting background knowledge on DLT systems, we discuss three key properties adding value to nuclear safeguards processes: (1) practical immutability can improve security of sensors identity management; (2) data anchoring through decentralised timestamping can provide proofs of existence and non-alteration of relevant data; and (3) auditability can increase efficiency in data sharing and become a source of forensic evidence to help determine legal liability. We inferred these three properties of DLT systems by endorsing a deductive methodology for the definition of nuclear sector use cases on containment and surveillance and radiation protection. Our aim is to frame a Proof-of-Concept strategy of software implementations intended to be ultimately exploited in nuclear safeguards. We conclude pointing to future research on performance tests simulated on the JRC Experimental Infrastructure for Internet Contingencies. We will aim at offering metrics to quantitatively measure the performance and derive added value of DLT systems properties applied to nuclear safeguards.

Keywords: Distributed Ledger Technology; blockchain; safeguards; immutability; timestamping; auditability

Reference guideline:

Sachy, M., Spigolon, R., & Nonneman, S. (2021). Three properties of Distributed Ledger Technology systems applied in the nuclear sector adding value to safeguards – immutability, timestamping and auditability. ESARDA Bulletin - The International Journal of Nuclear Safeguards and Non-proliferation, 62, 60-79.
https://doi.org/10.3011/ESARDA.IJNSNP.2021.6

THMB_Bulletin-62_p.60-79

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Three properties of Distributed Ledger Technology systems applied in the nuclear sector adding value to safeguards – immutability, timestamping and auditability
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