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Nuclear Safeguards Education Portal

Nuclear and Nuclear-Related Activities and Installations

Peaceful nuclear activities are comprised of many different types of facilities and associated activities that must all be safeguarded by the IAEA. The civilian nuclear power industry alone consists of all the requisite infrastructure necessary to mine uranium from the earth, process it to the point of producing electrical power, and eventual storage.

Bulk handling facility : A facility where nuclear material is held, processed or used in bulk form. More.
Closed-down facility (or closed-down location outside facilities) : A location where use and operations have been stopped and the nuclear material has been removed but not decommissioned. More.
Conversion plant: A facility used to convert the chemical composition of nuclear material into uranium hexafluoride (UF6), which is then sent to an enrichment plant. More.
Decommissioned facility (or decommissioned location outside facilities) : A facility that has had the equipment and structures required for its intended purpose removed. More.
Enrichment plant (or isotope separation plant): A facility used for the separation of nuclear material to increase the abundance of the main isotope that is required. More.
Facility life cycle: The amount of time that is given to a nuclear facility for the time of usefulness, starting with the decision to construct through being decommissioned. More.
Facility type: Used as the basis for IAEA planning and reporting of safeguards implementation. A facility type may consist of one or more installations, with the main category of installations defining the facility type. More.
Fast reactor: A category of nuclear reactor in which the fission chain reaction is sustained by fast neutrons. Such a reactor needs no neutron moderator, but must use fuel that is relatively rich in fissile material when compared to that required for a thermal reactor. More.
Fuel fabrication plant: A facility that manufactures the fuel elements for a reactor from nuclear material normally obtained after enrichment. More.
Geological repository: A facility for radioactive waste disposal located underground (usually several hundred meters or more below the surface) in a stable geological formation to provide long term isolation of radionuclides from the biosphere. More.
Graphite moderated reactor : A nuclear reactor that uses carbon as a neutron moderator, which allows un-enriched uranium to be used as nuclear fuel. More.
Heavy water production plant: A processing facility that creates heavy water, (deuterium oxide D2O) is a form of water that contains a larger than normal amount of the hydrogen isotope deuterium (2H or D, also known as heavy hydrogen), More.
Heavy water reactor (HWR) : A nuclear power reactor, commonly using unenriched natural uranium as its fuel that uses heavy water (deuterium oxide D2O) as its coolant and moderator. The heavy water coolant is kept under pressure, allowing it to be heated to higher temperatures without boiling, much as in a pressurized water reactor. More.
Item facility: A facility where all nuclear material is kept in item form for storage as well as disallowing the items current state to be altered by outside forced. More.
Light water reactor (LWR) : A type of thermal-neutron reactor that uses normal water, as opposed to heavy water, as both its coolant and neutron moderator – furthermore a solid form of fissile elements is used as fuel. More.
Nuclear fuel cycle: The progression of nuclear fuel through a series of differing stages. It consists of steps in the front end, which are the preparation of the fuel, steps in the service period in which the fuel is used during reactor operation, and steps in the back end, which are necessary to safely manage, contain, and either reprocess or dispose of spent nuclear fuel. If spent fuel is not reprocessed, the fuel cycle is referred to as an open fuel cycle (or a once-through fuel cycle); if the spent fuel is reprocessed, it is referred to as a closed fuel cycle. More.
Nuclear fuel cycle related research and development activities: Activities which are specifically related to any process or system development aspect of any of the following: conversion of nuclear material, enrichment of nuclear material, nuclear fuel fabrication, reactors, critical facilities, reprocessing of nuclear fuel, processing (not including repackaging or conditioning not involving the separation of elements, for storage or disposal) of intermediate or high level waste More.
Nuclear-related dual-use item: An item that can be used in nuclear and non-nuclear application or for military and civilian applications. More.
Off-load refuelled power reactor : A reactor that is being refueled while it has been shut down and the systems have been disconnected from the electricity grid. More.
On-load refuelled power reactor (OLR) : A reactor that is being refueled while it is still producing power and is connected to the electricity grid. More.
Power reactor : A reactor that is intended to produce electricity, propulsion, heating, desalination or other non-destructive based purposes. More.
Reactor: A device that allows a self-sustaining fission or fusion chain reactor to be maintained. More.
Reprocessing plant: An installation for the chemical separation of nuclear material from fission products, following dissolution of spent fuel. More.
Storage facility: An installation designed to store nuclear material. More.
Uranium mine and concentration (ore processing) plant : Installations, respectively, for mining uranium ore and for refining it to produce uranium ore concentrate, most commonly into concentrated crude oxide, U3O8(often called yellow cake). More.