Game theoretic analysis of physical protection system design

Bonnie Canion, Eric Bickel, Christopher Hadlock, David Morton, Erich Schneider

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


The physical protection system (PPS) of a fictional small modular reactor (SMR) facility have been modeled as a platform for a game theoretic approach to security decision analysis. The PPS modeled is based on U.S. Nuclear Regulatory (NRC) and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) requirements for security of nuclear facilities. The framework of the PPS consists of various classes of security measures placed systematically throughout the facility to provide defense in depth and a graded security approach. To demonstrate the game theoretic approach, a rational adversary with complete knowledge of the facility has been modeled attempting a sabotage attack. The adversary adjusts his decisions in response to investments made by the defender to enhance the security measures. The most advantageous pathway for the adversary maximizes the product of consequence to the facility and the probability of the adversary succeeding in his attack. The defender implements security upgrades in locations that best defend the facility against the adversary, while being constrained by a budget. The results allow cost benefit analysis while conservatively modeling the defense against an allknowing adversary. This paper describes the design of the PPS, specifically a systematic approach to assembling the physical protection system (and potential upgrades to it). One unique result of the game theoretic analysis of the physical protection system is an "efficient frontier" that depicts the return on investment of each set of security upgrades as a function of budget.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Nuclear Fuel Cycle Conference, GLOBAL 2013
Subtitle of host publicationNuclear Energy at a Crossroads
PublisherAmerican Nuclear Society
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013
EventInternational Nuclear Fuel Cycle Conference: Nuclear Energy at a Crossroads, GLOBAL 2013 - Salt Lake City, UT, United States
Duration: Sep 29 2013Oct 3 2013


OtherInternational Nuclear Fuel Cycle Conference: Nuclear Energy at a Crossroads, GLOBAL 2013
CountryUnited States
CitySalt Lake City, UT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering

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