Antineutrinos have been proposed as a means of reactor safeguards for more than 30 years and there has been impressive experimental progress in neutrino detection. In this paper we conduct, for the first time, a case study of the application of antineutrino safeguards to a real-world scenario - the North Korean nuclear crisis in 1994. We derive detection limits to a partial or full core discharge in 1989 based on actual IAEA safeguards access and find that two independent methods would have yielded positive evidence for a second core with very high confidence. To generalize our results, we provide detailed estimates for the sensitivity to the plutonium content of various types of reactors, including most types of plutonium production reactors, based on detailed reactor simulations. A key finding of this study is that a wide class of reactors with a thermal power of less than 0.1-1 GWth can be safeguarded achieving IAEA goals for quantitative sensitivity and timeliness with detectors right outside the reactor building. This type of safeguards does not rely on the continuity of knowledge and provides information about core inventory and power status in real-time.
|Comments:||45 pages, 14 figures, 9 tables|