Commercial nuclear power is a highly regulated industry with requirements and precautions in place to assure public safety and prevent the release of radioactive materials. In the area of physical security, the imposed requirements rely on insights gained from subject matter experts (SMEs) rather than a fully coupled, quantified and repeatable assessment or evaluation.
The ARES AVERT solutions utilize a 3D Digital Twin to incorporate SME expertise and quantified, verified and validated (V&V) modeling and simulation technology to review, evaluate and optimize a facility’s physical security posture and provide an exhaustive evaluation. Data and reports pulled from our AVERT technology have been used repeatedly to submit commercial nuclear security-based licensing changes (10CFR50.54p) that are approved and accepted by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to provide risk informed justification for security posture changes. AVERT Physical Security is also the first and currently only available Security Risk Assessment (SRA) solution of its type to receive the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) SAFETY Act accreditation.
ARES has successfully performed physical security posture evaluations, assessments and optimizations at 66% of the North American commercial nuclear fleet using our AVERT software. For each project performed, ARES had maintained or in most cases improved physical security effectiveness while identifying cost saving improvements on the order of $1-3M/year. These revolutionary capabilities have won our customers various awards including the Top Industry Practice (TIP) and WINS Best Practices awards.
The digital twins and exclusive simulations can also be utilized for physical security training and exercises as well as security operations and automation. Commercial nuclear facilities rely upon tabletop exercises (typically board based “games”) and actual full-scale exercises (i.e., Force on Force or FoF) to train and test their physical security posture and large guard forces. Current tabletop exercise tools rely on chance, or the roll of dice, to determine the outcomes, which has led to unrealistic scenarios and guard force frustrations. Whereas, full-scale exercises are very time-consuming and expensive to perform and only result in training on a small number of events. Both are good training tools, but these can be greatly improved based on using modeling & simulation along with next generation technology.
The ARES/Avert model, in conjunction with the traditional data gathered through the Performance Evaluation Program as well as historical Force on Force, allowed the management team to confidently make the strategy change and the 10CFR 50.54(P) submittal decision that the reduction of 11 security posts, or 50 Full Time Employees presented no diminishment of effectiveness. This reduction of posts accounts for a monetary savings of approximately 7.1 million dollars annually and reflected in the formula below:
11 security posts $600,000/post = $6.6 million.
6 Oversight positions = $550,000.”