John Key will be rushed after the flag Presser to the airport to dash to what is called the 2016 Nuclear Security summit.
Here is what they want to achieve in the near future:
We Need in 2016
We Need in 2016:
The risk of terrorists obtaining the materials to build a nuclear bomb
or a radioactive “dirty” bomb is one of the greatest dangers facing the
In 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama launched the nuclear security
summit (NSS) process, inviting dozens of heads of states to Washington,
DC, to discuss nuclear security. Additional summits were held in 2012
in Seoul, Republic of Korea, and 2014 in The Hague, Netherlands. The
summits have brought high-level attention to the issue of protecting
vulnerable nuclear and other radioactive materials, which has resulted in
actions that made the world a safer place for people across every continent.
However, the mission is not yet complete. The goal of effective nuclear
security requires vigilance and effort. With the final summit coming
up in 2016, it is imperative that the NSS process results in a legacy
that will sustain its past accomplishments and close remaining gaps to
achieve effective and durable global nuclear security.2
Effective and sustainable nuclear security can prevent these dangerous
materials from falling into the hands of terrorists. It is an essential component
in the implementation and management of any nuclear program,
such as the operation of nuclear power plants, fuel-cycle facilities, and
research establishments, as well as the use of radioactive sources in
nonpower applications such as medical diagnostics and therapy and
The 2016 NSS must result in bold, new actions that advance global
nuclear security objectives, create a mechanism for continuous and
measurable progress, and provide opportunities and incentives for
all stakeholders to participate. To achieve these goals, international
experts, organizations, and concerned citizens agree that world leaders
must act on a set of 5 Priorities for the 2016 Summit.3
The Fissile Materials Working Group (FMWG), a coalition of 80 civil
society organizations from around the world, endorsed the 5 Priorities.
FMWG experts also identified an opportunity and need for further study
on several of these priorities, with the objective of developing innovative
and actionable policy recommendations. The FMWG invited respected
international experts to form working groups on three topics that need
• Elimination of Highly Enriched Uranium in Civilian Applications
• Enhancing the Security of Military Nuclear Materials
• Information Sharing, Standards and Best Practices, and Security
The working groups developed the following policy recommendations
that could be implemented through the NSS process and beyond.
1 Radioactive materials emit radiation, but can’t be used to make a nuclear
weapon. They can be used to make a radiological dispersal device, or “dirty”
2 While additional summits may be planned, they are unlikely to be of the same
scope, scale, and frequency.
3 Available at http://2016nsspriorities.org/.
Elimination of Highly Enriched Uranium
in Civilian Applications
The amount of highly enriched uranium (HEU) that could fit in a
five-pound bag of sugar is enough to construct a nuclear weapon with
the potential to kill hundreds of thousands of people. Moreover, unlike
plutonium, HEU can be used in a simpler gun-type nuclear weapon. It
is also considerably easier to smuggle HEU and to avoid its detection,
making it potentially the most attractive target for a terrorist organization
seeking to acquire a nuclear capability.
Since the late 1970s, scientists have developed a number of technical
solutions to replace HEU with low enriched uranium (LEU) in
research reactors and in the production of medical isotopes. LEU is
not suitable for nuclear weapons. These technical advances allowed
repatriation and elimination of HEU from dozens of countries. The
NSS process has been instrumental in accelerating progress: many
countries have made commitments or contributed resources to new
international cooperation. Alongside the NSS process, 12 countries
became HEU-free, 15 metric tons of HEU has been downblended
to LEU, and additional HEU repatriation and reactor conversion
efforts are in progress.4
Despite the growing consensus that the use of HEU in non-weapons
applications poses unnecessary risks, the international community
has yet to agree on a comprehensive multilateral strategy to achieve
elimination of HEU from the civilian sector and eventually from all
non-weapons applications. Until recently, HEU minimization efforts
have been focused on the civilian sector, particularly on the conversion
of research reactors and medical isotope production. Other civilian
uses and non-weapons applications, including propulsion reactors
and military research reactors, have been outside of the discussion.
Though it will be politically difficult to establish consensus on elimination
in all non-weapons applications, HEU minimization and
elimination efforts cannot maximize security gains if the scope is
Ahead of the final NSS, participating states should seize the opportunity
to make clear political commitments and to establish pathways
and timelines to ensure that HEU is minimized in the near term and
eventually phased out from all existing civilian applications. These
commitments should go well beyond the current language in NSS
declarations limited to “encourag[ing] States to continue to minimise
the use of HEU through the conversion of reactor fuel from HEU
to LEU, where technically and economically feasible.”5 Only a much
stronger commitment and a more comprehensive approach will permanently
reduce the risk.
Exceptional momentum and progress has been achieved through the
NSS process, where countries received credit for their work to date
and made new commitments to continue their work in minimizing
and cleaning up HEU.6
As we approach the 2016 NSS, participating states can build on the
momentum generated from past commitments through explicit statements
regarding civilian HEU elimination in the final NSS communiqué
and via an HEU elimination gift basket (or baskets). Ideally, in
order to lay the groundwork for comprehensive and sustained cooperation,
these would include the support of all NSS participating states
and all HEU holders and users. Broad consensus is critical for ensuring
that after the NSS process ends, civilian HEU elimination efforts will
be sustainable and global.
The FMWG Working Group on Elimination of Highly Enriched
Uranium in Civilian Applications proposes that these commitments
be included in the pledges and statements at the 2016 NSS:
Recommendation #1: Accelerate Clean-Up Efforts and Establish a
Roadmap to the Full Elimination of HEU in Civilian Applications
States should establish a roadmap with clear timelines, such as the
one suggested in A Roadmap to Eliminate Highly Enriched Uranium, by
Andrew Bieniawski and Miles Pomper.7 There are 61 metric tons of
civilian HEU spread across over 100 facilities in 25 countries—enough
material for thousands of nuclear weapons.8 Conversion and clean-up
efforts have been significant, but they must continue rapidly and include
a number of critical elements and time-bound commitments from all
countries with HEU reactors and facilities.
a. Remaining HEU-fueled reactors: Countries must make clear commitments
to convert or shut down all HEU-fueled civilian reactors,
with new attention to critical assemblies, pulsed reactors, and
fast reactors. The majority of countries, including the United States,
should pledge to meet this goal by 2035. In the case of Russia, due
to its vast reactor fleet, a longer deadline may be required.
In addition, the United States and Russia should restart as soon as
possible a high-level dialogue on reactor conversion, either bilaterally
or multilaterally, including in cooperation with international organizations
such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
or fora such as the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism.
b. Fuel repatriation: The United States and Russia should continue
their commitment to repatriate HEU fuel supplied to third countries
decades ago under the auspices of U.S. and Soviet export programs.9
The U.S.-Russia cooperation in removing this material from third
countries should continue despite Russia’s current suspension of participation
in the NSS process.
c. Chinese Miniature Neutron Source Reactors: China should continue
leading the conversion of all Chinese-origin Miniature Neutron
Source Reactors (MNSRs) from the use of HEU to LEU fuel. This
process will begin with the first MNSR conversion in Ghana by
the end of 2016, followed by the MNSRs in Syria and Iran. China
should work with relevant international partners to determine how
and when these critical conversions and removals will take place.
d. Stocks of HEU: Countries with stocks of HEU with no current or
foreseen use should commit to the removal and downblending of
this material to LEU (below 20 percent U235).
Recommendation #2: Commit to New Efforts to Deal
with “Harder” Cases
The majority of the conversion and clean-up efforts that have taken
place so far have dealt with reactors and technologies for which technological
solutions were available or expected in the near term and
political agreements were within reach. Converting pulsed reactors,
critical assemblies, and naval reactors to LEU has proved more politically
controversial or technically challenging to achieve, but is no less
important. Therefore, it is time for the international community, particularly
the countries that have been on the forefront of international
and multilateral HEU elimination efforts in the past decades, to launch
the process and make specific commitments that include:
a. Pulsed and zero-power reactors: A comprehensive approach is
needed for diminishing HEU use in critical and subcritical assemblies
(i.e., zero-power reactors) and pulsed reactors, which hold
most remaining civilian HEU and have been largely ignored in conversion
efforts. There are approximately 40 critical and subcritical
assemblies around the world, with Russia housing the majority (16)
of active ones. There is a debate over the necessity of both pulsed
and zero-power reactors, as there are proven alternatives for their
primary purposes. To prepare for the phaseout of HEU in these
applications, a comprehensive approach should include decommissioning
unnecessary reactors, increasing efforts to find non-HEU
alternatives for difficult-to-convert reactors, consolidating workloads
toward remaining reactors most likely to be convertible once
higher density fuels become available, and, if needed, deploying
new LEU-powered replacement reactors for niche applications. A
concerted effort and clear commitments to establish programs and
clear pathways to deal with this previously unaddressed category of
research and test facilities should be made by all countries housing
these facilities and installations.
b. Naval reactors: Approximately 290 tons of HEU remain in global naval
inventories, enough material for over 11,000 nuclear weapons. Two to
three tons of fresh HEU are required annually for naval fuel, much
more than for all other non-weapons applications combined. Countries
employing HEU for naval propulsion should seriously assess the feasibility
of developing LEU replacement fleets in order to strengthen
the emerging global norm against the use of HEU for non-weapons
purposes and accelerate research, analysis, testing, and prototyping for
LEU fuels and reactor designs that meet key operational requirements
for naval reactors. The United States should lead this process and allocate
adequate funding for research and development on advanced LEU fuels
and systems in time for the development of the next generation nuclear
attack submarine, desirably starting by 2016.10
Recommendation #3: Make Unequivocal Political Commitments
The international community is still far from universal political acceptance
or commitment to forgo future use of HEU in civilian applications
or other non-weapons applications. Moreover, despite a wide acceptance
of the minimization efforts, a firm international commitment to eliminate
HEU from the existing non-weapons uses is still not secured.
a. Content of commitments. The NSS process, led by countries with
strong commitment to civilian HEU minimization and elimination,
should continue to work to generate political support among NSS participating
states and beyond to make unequivocal political commitments to:
• Not initiate or design any future research facilities, civilian propulsion
reactors, power reactors or other civilian applications and
technologies that require the use of HEU.
• Eliminate all existing civilian HEU in use via conversion, removal,
and downblend, and establish a timeframe and pathways to achieve
• Not produce new HEU for civilian use. HEU from existing stocks
should be drawn upon to meet the few remaining needs.
• Not export HEU to countries that have not pledged to convert
to LEU and committed to the minimization and elimination of
• Expand HEU minimization and elimination efforts to include
HEU in all non-weapons applications/uses.
b. Format of possible commitments. These commitments can be made
in a variety of formats, including but not limited to:
• A consensus document. This could be in the form of agreed-upon
language in the final communique or other consensus document
of the 2016 summit that proposes a roadmap to elimination. It
should include detailed, comprehensive political commitments and
policy declarations to key milestones, including firm dates for the
conversion of reactors, end of HEU exports, and development and
approval of LEU alternatives.11
• Gift baskets with a set of commitments by specific groups of countries, such as:
ww HEU Guidelines: HEU Guidelines would be agreed on and
adopted by those countries that hold or use HEU. They would
facilitate the development of a norm against the use of HEU in
any civilian application, reduce the potential for theft or diversion,
and promote transparency by requiring:
— Commitment to minimize, phase out, and eventually eliminate
HEU from civilian use.
— Transparency measures, including national reporting of stocks
— National roadmaps for HEU minimization and elimination.
— Strengthened security measures.
— Rules on transport and international transfer.
— Other relevant policies for safe and secure management of HEU.
The adoption of voluntary guidelines would assist the global community
in agreeing on norms and best practices, helping to ensure
that civilian HEU minimization and elimination efforts proceed
according to plan and for all countries with existing stocks, and
helping to ensure that civilian HEU is subject to strict protection
and control measures as long as it exists.
ww HEU Free Zones: An HEU Free Zone could be declared by a
group of countries in a region that has essentially been cleared
of such materials, such as Latin America or Southeast Asia. By
declaring themselves a zone, these countries would register support
for HEU elimination in their region and others and lead
the establishment of a global norm banning the use of HEU
in all non-weapons applications. In regions where a conversion
and removal is politically or technically difficult to achieve (such
as Belarus or South Africa), the establishment of an HEU Free
Zone may assist in adding political weight, funding, and technical
support to encourage removal and downblending. Countries
that could form such a zone could pledge at the 2016 summit to
pursue its establishment and register their intent to do so in their
national and/or regional statements.12
• Additional national or multilateral commitments. In addition to bilateral
and multilateral commitments that generate international consensus,
individual countries should continue to pursue ambitious and aggressive
policies that promote HEU minimization and elimination in their
country. For example:
ww Countries with HEU stocks and uses should commit to develop
national roadmaps for conversion, phaseout, and elimination of
HEU from all non-weapons applications that include concrete
timelines and clear pathways.
ww The most promising path to reduce the proliferation and security
risks associated with naval HEU fuel is for the United States to
launch an adequately funded advanced naval LEU fuel systems
research and development program as soon as possible, desirably
by 2016, to maximize the chance that it can reach fruition in time
for development of the next generation nuclear attack submarine
in the mid-2030s.13
ww Nuclear weapon states should commit to downblending material
declared in excess of military needs as well as declare additional
excess stocks of HEU that can be removed from their weapons
stocks and slated for elimination. The elimination process should
be conducted under monitoring and verification by the IAEA or
other international arrangement. States should establish national
timetables for HEU downblending and create an international
reporting mechanism to track progress on HEU downblending.
Recommendation #4: Ensure Sustainability and
Comprehensiveness Beyond the NSS Process
In addition to the NSS, other fora should continue to advance initiatives
and work in parallel toward political consensus and the implementation
of individual and group commitments and pledges. Moreover, once
the NSS process ends, the most obvious venue for pursuing HEU
minimization and elimination on the high level will cease to exist. To
ensure sustainability and continuity of these efforts, other existing or
new venues should be fully engaged:
a. Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conferences
and process. HEU minimization and elimination efforts are not
aimed solely at nuclear security, but also affect nonproliferation, verification,
and future disarmament. The NPT Review process allows
them to cut across all of these issue areas, focusing on the security
of HEU as well as addressing additional dimensions of HEU use
and policies. To this end, a comprehensive approach to ending the
use of HEU in all non-weapons applications should also include:
• The placement of all civilian HEU in all countries under international
safeguards for verification.
• The requirement for all countries to report on a regular basis their
stocks of HEU, particularly non-weapons holdings and uses.
Countries should build on the 2005 NPT Review Conference working
paper by Lithuania, Iceland, Kyrgyzstan, Norway, and Sweden,
as well as several action items reflected in the 2010 NPT Review
Conference Action Plan as they pertain to transparency measures,
placing excess military stocks of fissile materials under IAEA safeguards,
and commitments to HEU minimization and elimination
(including action items 16, 17, 18, and 61). The discussion of HEU
minimization, phaseout, and elimination, along with the application
of international safeguards to remaining non-weapons HEU and
the transparency of stocks, should be pursued in all three Main
Committees of the Conference, spanning the disarmament, nonproliferation,
and peaceful uses of nuclear energy areas.
b. International Atomic Energy Agency. The IAEA and its ministerial
conferences on nuclear security are logical arenas to pursue
these issues further. The IAEA already plays a significant role in
facilitating reactor conversions and HEU fuel repatriation. It is also
well positioned to promote conversion, consolidation, and similar
efforts through reactor coalitions and networks.
c. Dedicated international conference on HEU minimization and
elimination. The working group recommends the convening of an
international conference on the minimization and elimination of
HEU in late 2016 or early 2017 to assess the progress and commitments
after the 2016 NSS and other relevant international efforts
and initiatives. Countries and organizations that have been promoting
these issues within the NPT and NSS processes would be best
positioned to lead this effort and host it.14 Norway and Sweden, for
example, as members of the NSS process, could offer to convene such
conference as their gift to the 2016 summit.
d. High-level intergovernmental group on HEU. State leaders should
establish a dedicated high-level intergovernmental group to promote
and secure global political consensus on civilian HEU minimization
and elimination. At the 2016 NSS they could pledge to establish such
a group and include NSS sherpas and sous-sherpas in it. Sherpas
and sous-sherpas could spearhead this effort after the 2016 summit.
These individuals are already familiar with the subject, highly motivated,
and efficient, and they enjoy high levels of credibility and
respect from their governments.
e. Other initiatives and programs. Existing initiatives and programs
could supplement or take on some specific tasks of the implementation
of the proposed Roadmap. Among them are the Global Partnership
against the Spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction, the Global
Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, the Reduced Enrichment
for Research and Test Reactors program, and the Russian Research
Reactor Fuel Return program.
4 For a summary of HEU minimization efforts since 2010, see “Results of NSS
5 The Hague Nuclear Security Summit Communique, http://www.nss2014.com/en/
6 See 2014 statement from 12 countries cleared of all HEU, “Joint Statement on
Countries Free of Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU),” March 24, 2014, http://
of_highly_enriched_uranium_heu_final_version_24_march.pdf, and “Belgium-
Netherlands- France-United States Statement on Medical Isotopes,” March 26,
7 Available at http://www.nti.org/analysis/articles/roadmap-minimize-and-eliminate
8 International Panel on Fissile Materials, Global Fissile Material Report 2013:
Increasing Transparency of Nuclear Warhead and Fissile Material Stocks as a Step
Toward Disarmament, October 22, 2013, pg. 11, http://fissilematerials.org/library/
9 Miles Pomper and Philippe Mauger, Crossing the Finish Line: Ending the Civilian Use
of Highly Enriched Uranium, Stanley Foundation Policy Analysis Brief, May 2014.
10 Findings and recommendations concerning shifting from HEU in naval
fuels to LEU, as well as exploring a framework for monitoring and possibly
safeguarding nuclear material in the naval fuel cycle, are presented in
Naval Nuclear Propulsion: Assessing Benefits and Risks, Federation of American
Scientists, Independent Task Force, March 2015, https://fas.org/pub-reports/
11 See Bienawski and Pomper, A Roadmap to Eliminate Highly Enriched Uranium.
12 See forthcoming paper on HEU Free Zones by Miles Pomper, Andrew
Bieniawski, and Elena Sokova, June 2015, http://www.nti.org/analysis/articles/
13 Detailed discussion and recommendations regarding the elimination of HEU
use in naval fuel are in Naval Nuclear Propulsion and an accompanying paper
Alan Kuperman, Phasing Out Highly Enriched Uranium Fuel in Naval Propulsion:
Why It’s Necessary, and How to Achieve It, Nuclear Proliferation Prevention
Project, Working Paper No. 3, March 19, 2015, http://sites.utexas.edu/nppp/
14 In 2006, Norway, and in 2012, Austria, convened and hosted international
HEU minimization conferences that provided significant contribution to building
the global norm on civilian HEU minimization and phaseout.
Enhancing the Security of
Military Nuclear Materials
The vast majority of nuclear material in the world exists within state
military programs.15 Military nuclear materials can be found both
within nuclear weapons and in other forms throughout those programs.
As of the end of 2013, the global stockpile of weapons-usable material
was estimated to include more than 1,300 metric tons of HEU and
almost 500 metric tons of separated plutonium.16 That is enough to
make tens of thousands of new nuclear weapons, and the vast majority
of it is in military programs.
These military nuclear materials remain outside of many international
nuclear security mechanisms.
The only way to eliminate the risk of theft is to eliminate the nuclear
material, which is an admirable but challenging and long-term goal.
Until that goal is reached, all nuclear materials, whether civilian or
military, need effective and sustainable security.
There are two primary principles for addressing this challenge.
First, states should implement effective and sustainable security systems for
all nuclear weapons and weapons-usable materials. Effective security is not
a stable end state or a job that is “done” at a particular moment: It requires
continuously striving for excellence. Although this is the responsibility of
each state that possesses military nuclear materials, greater international
cooperation and diplomacy can encourage excellence and promote stronger
responsibility for the security of military materials between states.
Second, states possessing military nuclear materials should provide
assurances to the international community that materials and weapons
are secure while still protecting sensitive information. Not all military
materials in the world are routinely subject to voluntary mechanisms
by their possessors to enhance security and confidence. This creates
significant uncertainty within the global community about the quality
of security for military materials.
There are at least three reasons why effective and sustainable nuclear
security—as well as providing assurances of that security—is in the
interests of states possessing military nuclear materials.
1. Any nuclear detonation would have dire consequences for the entire
international community. States that possess nuclear weapons and
weapons usable nuclear materials have a prima facie responsibility
to assure the international community that they are adequately protecting
these items. Failure to fulfill this responsibility undermines
existing obligations, including United Nations Security Council
Resolution 1540 (UNSCR 1540) and the International Convention
on the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.
2. Assurances of effective security for military nuclear materials can
help reduce motivations for other states to initiate military nuclear
programs. Some governments, fearing that their adversaries may
obtain nuclear materials clandestinely through theft, may hedge
against this possibility by acquiring weapons-usable nuclear materials
of their own.
3. It is in the interest of weapons-possessing states to provide mutual
assurances because such exchanges could have vital benefits following
an actual nuclear terrorist event or accident. If weapons-possessing
states have been providing information and assurances on nuclear
security measures through established channels of communication
prior to a nuclear terrorist event, there will be less suspicion and more
willingness to cooperate to mitigate the consequences of the event.
The FMWG Working Group on Enhancing the Security of Military
Materials proposes the following recommendations for the 2016 NSS
Recommendation #1: Establish a Common Interpretation
of “Appropriate Effective” Security
UNSCR 1540 establishes an obligation for “appropriate effective”
security17 for any stockpiles of nuclear weapons or “related materials”
they may have.18 All states with nuclear weapons are UN member
states and therefore should demonstrate that their military nuclear
materials are under appropriate and effective administrative, legal,
and operational control by national authorities.19 The Working Group
recommends further clarification of these requirements and for states
to commit to specific steps to achieve that standard in order to reduce
the risk of theft.
a. Protection against all plausible adversary capabilities. All
nuclear weapons, weapons-usable materials, and nuclear facilities
whose sabotage could cause a major catastrophe must be protected
against a set of threats that includes the full spectrum of plausible
adversary capabilities. States should commit to a rigorous threat
assessment to produce a clear, detailed design basis threat and
commit to recommended practices, such as defense in depth. Such
threat assessments should not only include information from military
or civilian nuclear facilities but also be based on lessons learned
during incidents involving several well-armed and carefully planned
terrorist and criminal acts in the past few decades on economic,
civilian, and military targets.
b. Accounting and control. All nuclear weapons and weapons-usable
materials should have accounting and control systems capable of
detecting significant theft. These systems should prevent unmonitored
access, implement effective measures to address insider threats,
and use a measurement control program.
c. Inspection, peer review, and testing. All operators managing such
items or facilities should be subject to regular, in-depth inspection,
peer review, and realistic testing to ensure that their security and
accounting systems are effective. An up-to-date, strong, independent
regulatory framework is critical to achieving such a system.
d. Security culture. All operators managing such items or facilities
should have programs in place to assess and improve their staff’s
security culture with a focus on achieving and sustaining effective
protection. These programs should seek to develop well-trained and
certified security personnel and to instill a belief in realistic threats
about which security forces need to be aware.
Recommendation #2: Provide Assurances
That Military Materials Are Secure
All states with military materials should provide assurances that they
have effective security, drawing on past cooperative approaches. The
history of these cooperative approaches shows it is possible to provide
assurances while protecting sensitive information.
a. Best practices exchanges. States with military materials should
commit to best practice exchanges on a bilateral or multilateral basis.
b. Voluntary peer reviews. A system should be established to coordinate
voluntary peer reviews of a bilateral, trilateral, or other nature,
or International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS) type
for military materials.
c. Personnel visits. States should promote lab-to-lab personnel visits,
including site visit starting from less-sensitive facilities to slowly
build trust in the practice.
d. Information sharing. States with military materials should
undertake information sharing practices that can protect sensitive
information, such as confidential exchanges regarding funding for
Recommendation #3: Reaffirm Previous
Reaffirming previous commitments to securing military nuclear materials
can build and strengthen the international norm that states and
the international community must effectively secure nuclear military
materials and weapons.
a. 2014 NSS Communique. The 2014 NSS communiqué states that it
is “the fundamental responsibility of States, in accordance with their
respective obligations, to maintain at all times effective security of all
nuclear and other radioactive materials, including nuclear materials
used in nuclear weapons.”
b. United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540. UNSCR 1540
requires that all states provide “appropriate effective” security for
any stockpiles of nuclear weapons or “related materials” (certainly
including fissile materials) they may have.
c. International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear
Terrorism (ICSANT). The 2005 ICSANT obligates signatories to
take certain actions to prevent and respond to unauthorized use of
civilian or military nuclear materials.
Recommendation #4: Identify Appropriate Forums
for Advancing Discussions and Policies
Leaders must identify appropriate forums to discuss what is required,
what upgrades are needed, how to help states establish an effective
system, and what assurances can be provided beyond the NSS process.
The Working Group recommends that the five signatories to the NPT
allowed to have nuclear weapons create such a forum, or incorporate
a nuclear materials security agenda into an existing forum like the P5
Process. Using such a forum, those five states can advance discussion
on strengthening physical security of military nuclear materials and
facilities, bringing in other willing nuclear-weapon possessor states
when appropriate. Although enhancing international responsibility
and strengthened global norms are important goals, discussion will be
most productive by focusing on forums where these states can work on
bilateral and multilateral bases.
a. P5 Process. As a group of states who have disarmament obligations
under the NPT, the P5 have a responsibility to take initiative and
leadership on security standards for military nuclear materials. The
• Establish a working group on security of nuclear weapons and related
military nuclear materials with a mandate to share information on
best practices. This working group could review past successful bilateral
and multilateral cooperation to inform future practices.
• Host experts meetings on nuclear security.
• Develop a reporting form on military materials that could be submitted
under UNSCR 1540.
• Submit reports on steps to ensure the security of military nuclear
materials to the NPT Preparatory Committee sessions and Review
Conferences. Identifying specific measures to improve security of
military nuclear materials and provide international assurances to
that end could be integrated into a revised NPT Action Plan at
the 2015 or 2020 NPT Review Conference, allowing progress on
these commitments to be tracked.
• Include nuclear security terminology in ongoing work on a glossary
• A P3 group of France, the United Kingdom, and the United States
could take initial steps to begin addressing the security of military
nuclear materials. Although any steps taken by this group would
have to be adopted by all states possessing military nuclear materials
to address the fundamental risks, the P3 could lay a foundation for
further progress in the P5 and eventually all states with such materials.
b. Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism. The Global
Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism could add a complementary
focus on nuclear security.
c. Conference on Disarmament (sidelines). Establish a consultative
process at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva to:
• Discuss measures for further strengthening the security of nuclear
weapons and related military nuclear materials, involving the P5
and the other nuclear-weapon-possessor states.
• Report on the consultations provided annually to the Conference
15 Military nuclear materials are any nuclear materials that states do not explicitly
use for civilian purposes.
16 International Panel on Fissile Materials, Global Fissile Material Report 2013, pp.
17 Drawing on IAEA INFCIRC 225, Rev. 5, http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/
18 UNSCR 1540, addressing the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction,
was adopted unanimously on April 28, 2004. The resolution establishes obligations
under Chapter VII of the United Nations charter to develop and enforce
appropriate legal and regulatory measures against the proliferation of chemical,
biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons and their means of delivery, in particular,
to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction to nonstate actors.
19 For a proposed definition of essential elements for nuclear security and nuclear
accounting, see Matthew Bunn, “‘Appropriate Effective’ Nuclear Security and
Accounting—What Is It?” presentation to the Joint Global Initiative/UNSCR
1540 Workshop on “‘Appropriate Effective’ Material Accounting and Physical
Protection,” Nashville, TN, July 18, 2008, http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/
Information Sharing, Standards and
Best Practices, and Security Culture
Information sharing, standards and best practices, and security
culture are all critical pillars of effective nuclear security. These
issues are all deeply interconnected. For example, without sufficient
information, there can be no effective security culture:
Security culture relies on knowledge of credible threats and effective
responses. This knowledge base cannot be built if the requisite
information is not shared.
There is a need for better understanding of and more information about
nuclear security, security events, standards of performance and implementation
to reassure a broad range of stakeholders, including the
public. This requires more information and a differentiated approach to
information sharing through various channels that are appropriate to a
given audience. The mass media are the prevailing channel for information
to the general public, a channel that highly depends on access to
information and its quality. Nuclear security sometimes involves highly
sensitive information, and that requires a balance between making
information available and protecting the sensitive items from disclosure
and inappropriate access.
Standards and best practices help to ensure that security practices are
effective. Standards are the rules of the game, whereas best practices
are developed through the experience of practitioners.
The IAEA develops and publishes nuclear safety standards and nuclear
security guidance20 to help states implement a nuclear security regime.
Further guidance or recommendations are published regarding suitable
measures to implement. These standards or guidance issued by the
IAEA are voluntary for any state to implement, which leads to insufficient
accountability in the implementation of the IAEA guidance.
The international nuclear security regime has significant gaps: There are
no binding standards, no built-in peer review process, and no mechanism
to assess and improve the system as a whole. The responsibility to
protect nuclear and other radioactive materials from the hands of terrorists
or criminals rests entirely with the country in which the material
is used. The approaches and measures implemented are established in
national regulatory systems. Obligations made in international treaties
and agreements are normally reflected as requirements in the national
Recognizing that a serious nuclear security incident would have global
consequences, the international community has strengthened the legal
basis for nuclear security. The NSS have given highest priority to universal
implementation of the Convention on the Physical Protection
of Nuclear Material, its Amendment, and the ICSANT, in parallel
with UNSCR 1540. These international legal instruments recognize
principles for national implementation and identify offences that must
be punishable according to national law. While these are steps in the
right direction, much more attention to the universal implementation
of standards and best practices is needed.
Finally, security culture underpins an effective nuclear security regime.
It requires regular information and effective technical and performance
evaluation. It is most effective when it is comprehensive, spanning
the state level, competent authorities, operators, and other stakeholders.
Under the current patchwork nuclear security regime, certified
education and training is neither required nor implemented. Further,
there is scant integration of security culture development and promotion
across the chemical-biological-radiological-nuclear (CBRN) spectrum.
These issues must all be addressed to adequately protect nuclear and
The FMWG Working Group on Information Sharing, Standards and
Best Practices, and Security Culture proposes the following recommendations
for the 2016 NSS and beyond:
Recommendation #1: Share More Information
and Improve Channels to Share Information
NSS participating countries should commit to sharing significantly
more information on nuclear security, with the purpose of building
confidence among key stakeholders, including the international community,
within regions, and with the public. This is necessary for an
effective nuclear security regime to be established and implemented.
The IAEA Illicit Trafficking Database collects official state-generated
information on nuclear security incidents, including losses, thefts, and
unauthorized uses of nuclear material and radioactive sources. This
data indicates that an incident occurred, but offers no specific information
about it. This data is coordinated with reports to the IAEA
International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale system, which is
relevant when there is an incident or accident (irrespective of the cause
of the incident) with potential or actual radiological consequences.
The Working Group recommends the following improvements:
a. Extant commitments. International legal instruments that are relevant
for nuclear security recognize the need for and benefits of information
exchange. All commitments made by states to share information
should be implemented, and information sharing should be recognized
as an essential component in an effective nuclear security culture.
b. Action plan. A concrete action plan should be established to provide
sufficient, consistent, persistent, credible, and timely information.
Such a plan should identify the broad range of stakeholders involved
in nuclear security, their general and specific need for information,
and appropriate channels to share the information.
c. Enhanced interaction and communication. The plan should
consider enhanced interaction with media and nongovernmental
organizations as important channels to reach a broad audience: the
public, the science community, and schools. However, it should be
recognized that some nuclear security information may be highly
sensitive and that protection from disclosure needs to be considered.
d. Information about security events. The global nuclear security
regime should encourage more dissemination of substantive information
in relation to security events such as trafficking, threats to
nuclear facilities, and, at the right time, law enforcement processes.
e. Stakeholders. States and international organizations should invest
in interaction with industry, media, and nongovernmental organizations
as important tools to reach all stakeholders. Establishing
regional networks among stakeholders for information exchange
could significantly improve information sharing.
Recommendation #2: Close Gaps in the International
Nuclear Security Legal Framework
The NSS should establish a legacy that will ensure sustainable improvements
in the international nuclear security legal framework, including
guidance and encouraging the use of best practices.
The use of uranium for nuclear fuel and of radioactive isotopes in medicine
and industry are always associated with a license that stipulates
radiation safety measures and specific arrangements that may be required
to ensure radiation safety, but this is not always the case for nuclear
security. International standards that are applicable for security arrangements
are relatively young, and the culture of applying them shows wide
IAEA IPPAS missions, as requested voluntarily by states, are intended
to guide a state in establishing and maintaining effective nuclear
security, including physical protection at facilities and locations.
Although this service has increased, the desired potential to strengthen
standards and build confidence, both regionally and with the public,
has not been realized. Other international standards and review systems
for aviation safety and security with more mandatory and universal
arrangements (e.g., the International Civil Aviation Association) offer
useful precedents for the nuclear sector.
The Working Group recommends the following:
a. International framework. A group of states should initiate a process
aimed at closing the gaps in the international legal framework covering
nuclear security by establishing universal mandatory nuclear
security standards, peer reviews, and a process for continuous
improvement through periodic review of the global regime.
b. Confidence building. A group of states should propose a
sustainable, long-term, differentiated system to build confidence
of effective nuclear security, with periodic international peer review
or evaluation, such as IAEA IPPAS, national performance control,
and industry self-review. A common approach to communicating
the results of international peer reviews as well as national selfassessments
should be elaborated, with due consideration given to
maintaining the confidentiality of sensitive information.
c. IAEA standards and guidance. Strengthening the international
nuclear security framework should include a process by which existing
voluntary IAEA guidance becomes universal, to ensure consistent
implementation of better defined, succinct, IAEA guidance.
d. Incentives. Identify mechanisms to demonstrate and reward good
performance and practices.
e. Integrated approach. Safety, security, and safeguards are insufficiently
integrated. Bridges and synergies should be explored and
reflected in the nuclear security regime, between nuclear security,
safety, accounting and control,22 and export control. Nuclear regulators
and nuclear operators should share best practices in integrating
nuclear security, safety, accounting, and control.
Recommendation #3: Enhance Security Culture
The day-to-day attitudes and actions toward implementation of
nuclear security measures make up a corporate or organizational
nuclear security culture. A nuclear security culture is most effective
when implemented widely at the state level by competent authorities,
operators, and other stakeholders. The education and training
of staff at all levels should promote principles of security culture
and meet high quality requirements. The development and implementation
of a nuclear security culture is a necessary management
approach for all activities in the nuclear fuel cycle. To enable its
broad implementation across the entire nuclear fuel cycle, the following
a. Holistic, comprehensive approach. States should take a holistic
approach to nuclear security and promote a culture that recognizes
and supports its principles, applied to all nuclear activities, their control,
and management. The approach should reinforce bridges and
synergies between nuclear security, nuclear safety, and international
safeguards as well as export control.
b. Enhancing interaction. The IAEA, nuclear security practitioners,
and the academic community should take steps to enhance interaction
on nuclear security culture and its implementation. Centers
of Excellence, Nuclear Security Support Centers, and International
Nuclear Security Education Network should carry forward the
comprehensive nuclear security culture message through support
activities, state-of-the art management systems, human resource
development, and training activity.
c. Sustainability. Programs to promote nuclear security culture can be
sustainable only if they are embedded in national traditions, practice,
d. Coordination and Training. The IAEA must have a capacity to
act as the global promoter and coordinator of nuclear security culture
through its educational and training programs as well as good
e. Proven methodologies. As a source of relevant methodologies, the
IAEA must accelerate the completion of the two technical guidance
documents on self-assessment and enhancement currently under
development and establish a mechanism to encourage their implementation
by member states.
f. CBRN interaction. Experiences gained across the broader CBRN
security spectrum should be leveraged in the comprehensive approach
to nuclear security culture.
20 See IAEA Nuclear Security Series, http://www-ns.iaea.org/security/nuclear_security_
21 An example of differences in implementation may be found in security arrangements
for high-activity radioactive sources used for radiation therapy at
hospitals, where security improvements are perceived to slow the treatment of
22 As required for international and domestic safeguards, or measures to verify the
correctness and the completeness of the declarations made by states about their
nuclear material and activities.
Working Group on
Elimination of Highly Enriched Uranium
in Civilian Applications
Elena Sokova, Chair
Working Group on
Enhancing the Security of
Military Nuclear Materials
James Doyle, Chair
Simond de Galbert
Working Group on
Information Sharing, Standards and
Best Practices, and Security Culture
Anita Nilsson, Chair
The Fissile Materials Working Group (FMWG) is a nongovernmental
coalition of 80 organizations from around the
world that are committed to preventing nuclear terrorism. The
coalition brings together top nuclear security experts to develop
actionable policy proposals and to advocate for government
adoption and implementation of improved policies. The
FMWG has organized or partnered with the organizers of
civil society events held in parallel to the Nuclear Security
Summits in Washington, Seoul, and the Hague.