ARES Security Corporation Awarded $1.1M DOE SBIR Phase 2 Grant

Jul 26, 2021 | News & Articles

ARES Security Corporation (ARES) is revolutionizing nuclear power plant security by coupling security with operator actions and realism to enhance safety, improve efficiency and reduce operating costs for nuclear power plants and facilities. To support these efforts, ARES is pleased to announce winning a Department of Energy (DOE) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 2 grant in the amount of $1.1M.

Currently, nuclear power plant security is primarily separate from nuclear plant operations. Safety and Security systems are evaluated, monitored, exercised, and measured using very different methods for both, yet both are interrelated. Until recently, analytical, quantitative methods were not available for an integrated security risk assessment (SRA), unlike safety which has used probabilistic risk assessments (PRAs) for many years. The ability to incorporate operator actions into quantitative security assessments could provide significant savings to the US Nuclear Fleet and improve overall effectiveness.

As part of the Phase 1 SBIR effort, ARES was the first organization to integrate security using ARES’ commercially-available AVERT® Physical Security Modeling and Simulation software (an SRA tool) with Idaho National Lab’s (INL) EMRALD Dynamic PRA software. The successful Phase 1 project has resulted in a holistic SRA/PRA evaluation tool coupling Safety and Security systems.

The focus of this Phase 2 project is to build upon the work completed in Phase 1. Specifically, the Phase 2 project will:

  • Improve the Software Coordination, Data Modeling and Reporting, and Software Efficiency

  • Generate Higher Fidelity Security Response Modeling, and

  • Establish Congruence with Standard PRA models.

For the Phase 2 project, ARES is pleased to be partnering with Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Three Strand Living, LLC, and Xcel Energy. Each of these organizations are leaders in this field of technology. ARES Security plans to utilize the expertise and technology improvements generated through this Phase 2 SBIR to offer the first readily available commercial software solution for an all-inclusive evaluation of facility safety and security systems. For existing nuclear reactors, this will result in a realistic and optimized security system. For advanced reactors, the interaction of safety and security can be built in during the design phase. In the end, this Phase 2 project will help ARES Security provide organizations with a state-of-the-art tool to better optimize security and safety, resulting in enhanced public safety.