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Seminar: Challenges associated with introduction of technological innovations in the context of international safeguards

February 22 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

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Mr. Alain LeBrun (IAEA)
CNEC Distinguished lecture


The existence of a proven technology is not the sole factor requiring consideration when introducing and adopting emerging technologies in the international safeguards context. The complexity of this environment, including the need to engage multiple stakeholders, induces a great diversity of boundary conditions and limiting factors. This lecture addresses the necessity of striking a balance between stakeholder interests, which often vary in terms of acceptance of innovations and respective focus on effectiveness and/or efficiency. This lecture will firstly provide a brief description of the operating environment within the IAEA Department of Safeguards. Then, through examples of our experience in introducing new technologies, will describe how associating gains in effectiveness with productivity and usability improvements can provide added value to different stakeholders and, ultimately, facilitate the implementation of technological innovations.


Alain Lebrun obtained a Masters Degree in Metallurgy from the university of Aix en Provence (France) in 1988 and is currently appointed as acting Director for the Division of Technical and Scientific Services in the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Department of Safeguards.

Mr Lebrun joined the IAEA in 2002 as a Non-Destructive Assay (NDA) Systems Engineer after spending 19 years at the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA). He served in various positions with the CEA, including quality controlling MOX fuel in a fabrication plant, developing monitoring systems for fast neutron reactors and developing  non-destructive assay (NDA) instrumentation with an emphasis on spent fuel characterisation for both criticality safety and safeguards purposes.

On an ongoing basis, Mr Lebrun leads a group of 25 staff including ten PhD-qualified scientists providing technical and scientific support towards implementing IAEA safeguards in the area of . Each year, his section provides around 1000 NDA systems to inspectors and is responsible for the development of all NDA instrumentation used by IAEA inspectors in attended mode for the verification of nuclear material declared by Member States. Mr Lebrun’s section is also responsible for Technology Foresight activities, aimed at identifying and introducing emerging technologies for use in safeguards implementation and in verifying the completeness of State declarations.

Currently, Mr Lebrun is serving as Acting Director during a transitional period until the newly appointed Director Designate of the Division of Technical and Scientific Services joins the IAEA.



February 22
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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