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I salute the Arms Control Association … for its keen vision of the goals ahead and for its many efforts to identify and to promote practical measures that are so vitally needed to achieve them. -

– Amb. Nobuyasu Abe
Former UN Undersecretary General for Disarmament Affairs
January 28, 2004
Fissile Material

Panel Calls for NNSA Overhaul

January/February 2015

By Daniel Horner

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) should be reconstituted as the Office of Nuclear Security within the Energy Department, and the department’s name should be changed to the “Department of Energy and Nuclear Security,” according to a high-level independent report.

Since it was established 15 years ago, the NNSA has been a semiautonomous agency within the Energy Department responsible for the management and security of U.S. nuclear weapons and for nuclear nonproliferation and naval reactor programs. Congress created the NNSA to sharpen the department’s focus on nuclear security and other issues relating to the U.S. nuclear weapons complex.

In its recently released report, “A New Foundation for the Nuclear Enterprise,” the panel argued for “a knowledgeable, engaged” energy secretary and for department-wide “ownership” of the NNSA’s mission. That stands in contrast to proposals for greater NNSA autonomy.

The congressionally mandated report also stressed the need for better coordination and collaboration with the Defense Department. According to the report, NNSA “customers” in the Pentagon currently “lack confidence” in the NNSA’s ability to carry out programs to extend the life of warheads in the U.S. stockpile and modernize the facilities that produce the warheads.

NNSA reform is crucial because “nuclear weapons have become orphans” in Congress and the executive branch, the report said.

The NNSA should be reconstituted as the Office of Nuclear Security within the Energy Department, and the department’s name should be changed to the “Department of Energy and Nuclear Security,”...

States Commit to Nuclear Rules at Summit

Kelsey Davenport

Thirty-five countries last month launched an initiative that they said bolsters their commitment to implementing existing international guidelines on nuclear security, in part by incorporating the “fundamentals” of the voluntary guidelines into binding national rules.

The initiative was announced at the March 24-25 nuclear security summit in The Hague, the third in the series of biennial meetings.

In a March 25 press conference in The Hague announcing the initiative, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said the initiative is the “closest thing we have to international standards for nuclear security.”

The new initiative, called “Strengthening Nuclear Security Implementation,” was sponsored by the hosts of the three summits—the Netherlands, South Korea, and the United States—ahead of the March summit and was open to all 53 participating countries to join. (See ACT, March 2014, Web Extra.)

According to the document outlining the initiative’s commitments, the aim is to “demonstrate progress made in improving nuclear security worldwide.” These recommendations could serve “as a role model” for transparent behavior worldwide, the document said.

The initiative commits participating states to meet or exceed recommendations on nuclear security outlined in a series of documents published by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

At the March 25 press conference, Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans said that the initiative has two objectives: to “eliminate weak links” in the nuclear security and to “build confidence in nuclear security internationally.” By taking part in the initiative, the 35 countries have demonstrated their commitment to “continuous improvement,” he said.

The initiative’s roster includes all of the European and North American participants, as well as a range of others, such as Algeria, Israel, Kazakhstan, the United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam.

The 35 states pledged to conduct self-assessments; host periodic peer reviews, including IAEA reviews by the International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS); and implement the recommendations identified during the review process. This will allow them to “continue to improve the effectiveness of their nuclear security regimes and operators’ systems,” the document said.

At the request of an IAEA member state, an IPPAS mission can assist the country in strengthening its national nuclear security regime by providing advice on implementing international guidelines and IAEA nuclear security guidance and by conducting reviews of the country’s measures to protect nuclear materials and associated facilities. IPPAS missions can focus on a specific facility or review national practices.

The initiative requires states to ensure that the management and personnel responsible for nuclear security are “demonstrably competent” and includes a list of optional activities that states can take to further improve their nuclear security.

In a March 25 interview, Kenneth Brill, a former U.S. ambassador to the IAEA, said that the initiative was a “useful step forward” for several reasons. It is important that states are agreeing on guidelines to follow for nuclear security and “implicitly recognizing international responsibility” for nuclear security. He also cited the commitment to voluntary peer reviews as a significant new development.

But there is “still a long way to go,” Brill said, adding that he would have liked to have seen China, India, Pakistan, and Russia sign join the initiative because India and Pakistan have growing stockpiles of fissile materials and China and Russia need to demonstrate leadership as recognized nuclear-weapon states with large stockpiles of materials.

In 2016, when the United States hosts the next summit, President Barack Obama must seize on the progress made at this summit and “take it to a new level,” Brill said.

Nuclear security must be “sustainable” and have “agreed-on mechanisms for going forward in the coming years,” he said. This includes legally binding nuclear security regulations and “mechanisms to assist states that need help in meeting them,” Brill said.

Array of Actions

The consensus communiqué issued by the summit’s 53 participants laid out a number of actions for states to take to improve nuclear security, but the recommendations are nonbinding.

States were encouraged to ratify the 2005 amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM). The convention, which entered into force in 1987, sets security standards for nuclear material in transit. The 2005 amendment would expand the scope of the physical protection measures to cover material in storage.

An additional 26 ratifications are necessary to reach the 98 necessary for bringing the amendment into force. The United States and South Korea are among the 17 summit participants that have not yet completed ratification.

Although entry into force of the 2005 amendment will set binding legal standards for nuclear materials in storage, “two key gaps” will remain, Jonathan Herbach, a researcher in nuclear security and arms control law at Utrecht University’s Centre for Conflict and Security Law, said in a March 24 interview. He said the amendment covers only part of the world’s stockpiles of nuclear material because military materials are not included. According to the Nuclear Threat Initiative, 85 percent of the world’s nuclear materials are military stockpiles.

The 2005 amendment also does not address radiological sources. These sources, he said, are “more easily obtainable” and require “less technical expertise to use in an explosive device” than nuclear materials.

The CPPNM also does not provide a mechanism for expansion to cover additional areas, such as military materials, he said.

The communiqué identified voluntary measures that countries could take to demonstrate to the international community that they are implementing sound nuclear security practices without compromising national security. These measures, also known as assurances, include “publishing information about national laws, regulations and organisational structures,” the communiqué said. The measures in the communiqué also include “further developing training of personnel involved in nuclear security by setting up and stimulating participation in training courses and applying domestic certification schemes,” as well as exchanging information on good practices.

One of these voluntary measures is to invite the IPPAS reviews, but there are concerns by experts and summit participants that the IAEA may not have the capacity to handle an increased volume of IPPAS missions.

Bart Dal, former national coordinator for nuclear security and safeguards in the Netherlands, said in a March 24 interview that the size of the IAEA budget and staff is “just one” of the factors that needs to be considered. Dal, who has participated as an expert on IPPAS missions, said that countries need to “continue training experts in physical protection” for the teams that carry out these missions.

IPPAS teams are comprised of experts from member countries.

Implementing the recommendations from IPPAS missions is voluntary, but there is “no example of a country that did not follow up on the recommendations” in all of the missions that have taken place, Dal said.

Materials Removed

The communiqué encouraged states to take actions to minimize their stockpiles of highly enriched uranium (HEU) and keep stockpiles of plutonium “to a minimum level.”

Several countries announced progress on eliminating weapons-usable materials and pledged to continue efforts to reduce their stockpiles of those materials. Currently, 25 countries possess HEU or separated plutonium, 21 of which participate in the summit process.

Two of those countries, Japan and the United States, announced in a March 24 joint statement that the United States would take back more than 700 kilograms of HEU and plutonium from the Fast Critical Assembly facility in Japan. In the United States, the HEU will be down-blended into low-enriched uranium and used for civilian purposes, the joint statement said. The plutonium will be “prepared for final disposition” in the United States, the announcement said.

In other announcements at last month’s summit, Belgium and Italy each issued a joint statement with the United States saying it had completed the return of HEU and plutonium to the United States, fulfilling pledges made at the 2012 summit in Seoul. The United States will secure the materials and dispose of them, the statements said.

Italy, in an effort that also involved the IAEA and the United Kingdom, returned about 20 kilograms of HEU and plutonium. The cooperation included the “development of novel packaging configurations for the consolidation of plutonium materials within Italy, and the training and certification of personnel for specialized packaging operations” in Italy, according to the U.S.-Italian joint statement. The statement also said that the two countries would work together to eliminate additional stockpiles of these materials from Italy.

The U.S.-Belgian statement did not specify the amount of HEU that Belgium returned, saying only that it was “significant.” The two countries will work together to dispose of more material, their joint statement said.

Canada also announced on March 24 that it had returned about 45 kilograms of HEU to the United States.

At the summit, 13 countries issued a joint statement proclaiming themselves free of HEU. The majority of the countries have eliminated their stockpiles since Obama began the effort to secure nuclear materials in 2009. The list of countries includes the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Vietnam, all of which got rid of their stockpiles in 2013.

After 2016

It is unclear if the summit process will continue beyond the summit that the United States will host in 2016. U.S. officials have said in the past that the summit process was never meant to be a permanent institution.

In a March 25 statement, Irma Arguello, president of the Argentina-based NPSGlobal Foundation, said that, at the 2016 summit, “leaders must lay the foundation for an efficient, adaptable, inclusive, and harmonized nuclear security system” that can become “the enduring legacy of the process.”

In the Hague communiqué, countries agreed that their representatives will “continue to participate in different international forums dealing with nuclear security” because “continuous efforts” are needed to strengthen international nuclear security. The document recognized that the IAEA will play the “leading role” in the coordination of these efforts, but did not rule out future summits or indicate any successor organization.

Kelsey Davenport’s reporting from The Hague was supported by a grant from the Heinrich Böll Foundation North America.

Thirty-five countries launched an initiative that they said bolsters their commitment to implementing existing international guidelines on nuclear security.

New Report Assesses Progress on Nuclear Security Efforts

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Multilateral Efforts Help Improve Nuclear Security, But States Still Need to Deliver Greater Transparency and a Long-Term Plan to Strengthen the Global Nuclear Material Security System

For Immediate Release: March 5, 2014

Media Contacts: Michelle Cann, Senior Budget and Policy Analyst, PGS (202-332-1412); Kelsey Davenport, Nonproliferation Analyst, ACA (202-463-8270); Sarah Williams, Nuclear Policy Analyst, PGS, (202-332-1412).

(Washington, D.C.) As 53 states prepare to meet in The Hague March 24-25 for the third Nuclear Security Summit, a new report released today by the Arms Control Association (ACA) and the Partnership for Global Security (PGS), finds that multilateral initiatives from the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit are improving targeted areas of nuclear security, but more ambitious initiatives are needed to address the lack of transparency and regime cohesion in the global nuclear security system.

While the three previous ACA-PGS reports on the Nuclear Security Summit process have focused on state actions, the 2014 edition, The Nuclear Security Summit: Assessment of Joint Statements, examines the progress made on the 13 joint statements presented at the 2012 summit. These multilateral initiatives allowed for like-minded states to collaborate on advancing common nuclear security goals.  

"The joint statements model has proven a useful vehicle for likeminded states to collaborate on specific projects to address gaps in the current nuclear security system," said Michelle Cann, senior budget and policy analyst at PGS and co-author of the report.

"However, not every statement was equally effective, and most were narrowly focused. Countries must begin to put short-term projects like those described in these joint statements into the broader context of a long-term effort to improve the nuclear security system," she added.

"While states have made measurable progress in meeting several sets of key goals outlined in their joint statements, the lack of structure and reporting requirements also resulted in some statements without any specific work plans or deliverables," said Kelsey Davenport, nonproliferation analyst for ACA and co-author of the report.

"The joint statement model should be carried forward into the 2014 and 2016 summits, but future joint statements should have at least one clear deliverable and incorporate time for follow-up by participants and reporting to the international community," she suggested.

The 27-page ACA-PGS report describes the actions taken on each of the 13 joint statements since the 2012 summit. Highlights include:

  • A National Legislation Implementation Kit has been drafted in partnership with the nongovernmental organization VERTIC to facilitate the adoption of the international conventions and treaties related to nuclear security.
  • Low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel powder has been developed for fuel fabrications and testing under the Quadrilateral Cooperation on High-Density LEU Fuel Production statement to aid in the conversion of research reactors from highly-enriched uranium fuel.
  • Five projects supporting summit goals are being implemented by the new nuclear and radiological material security sub-working group of the Global Partnership against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction.
  • A meeting and exercise was held in support of the Transport Security statement the results of which are being fed into recommendations at the 2014 summit and a best practice guide.
  • The Nuclear Information Security statement has been left open for additional signature to encourage broader participation and signatories took a survey of actions to document progress.

"While these joint statements helped clarify states' goals and focus efforts to improve nuclear security, limited multilateral actions will not contribute to the overall strengthening of the global nuclear security system," said Sarah Williams, nuclear policy analyst a PGS and co-author of the report.

"Broad international cooperation is still needed in a number of areas to address significant remaining global nuclear security challenges. Looking forward to the 2016 summit, NSS participants should push for a more cohesive, transparent, and effective nuclear security regime that includes more standardized reporting mechanisms and review measures to earn the confidence of the global community," Williams added.

The full report, The Nuclear Security Summit: Assessment of Joint Statements, is available online here.


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The Arms Control Association is an independent, membership-based organization dedicated to providing authoritative information and practical policy solutions to address the threats posed by the world's most dangerous weapons.

The Partnership for Global Security mounts a global effort to strengthen global nuclear security governance and promotes practical policies to ensure all nuclear material and facilities are secure.

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(Washington, D.C.) As 53 states prepare to meet in The Hague March 24-25 for the third Nuclear Security Summit, a new report released today by the Arms Control Association (ACA) and the Partnership for Global Security (PGS), finds that multilateral initiatives from the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit are improving targeted areas of nuclear security, but more ambitious initiatives are needed to address the lack of transparency and regime cohesion in the global nuclear security system.

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Lag on Nuclear Materials Pact Decried

Kelsey Davenport

The failure of several key states to ratify a nuclear security treaty ahead of this month’s nuclear security summit is a disappointment, but an Indonesian initiative may increase the pace of ratifications, an official familiar with the preparations for the meeting said.

The two previous nuclear security summits, in Washington in 2010 and Seoul in 2012, have emphasized the importance of the entry into force of a 2005 amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM). The March 24-25 summit in The Hague is also likely to encourage ratification of this treaty.

The original treaty, which entered into force in 1987, sets security standards for nuclear material in transit. Its 2005 amendment would expand the scope of the physical protection measures to cover material in storage. An additional 26 ratifications are necessary to reach the 98 necessary for bringing the amendment into force.

Although the 2012 Seoul summit communiqué urged states “in a position to do so to accelerate their domestic approval” of the amendment in order to achieve entry into force by 2014, 17 of the 53 summit participants have yet to ratify it.

In an e-mail exchange last month with Arms Control Today, the official said that the “absence of action” by several key states, including the United States, is a “blow to the summit process and its momentum.”

But a “promising initiative” led by Indonesia may assist countries in speeding up their ratification of the 2005 amendment, the official said.

The initiative, known as the National Legislation Implementation Kit, consolidates existing guidance on nuclear security, simplifying the process for states to update domestic regulations to comply with key nuclear security treaties and guidelines. Indonesia announced at the 2012 summit that it would develop the kit, and a rollout is expected at The Hague, the official said.

HEU Minimization

The 2012 communiqué also encouraged states to announce voluntary actions to minimize the use of highly enriched uranium (HEU) “where technically and economically feasible” by 2013.

The official said that many countries have made such announcements, but some states have yet to “step up” and fulfill this commitment.

In a Feb. 18 e-mail to Arms Control Today, Elena Sokova, executive director of the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Nonproliferation, noted the recent removals of all weapons-usable materials from Austria, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. Yet, she pointed out that Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, and Switzerland still hold stocks of HEU for civilian purposes and that France and the United Kingdom have civilian and military stocks of HEU and plutonium.

Sokova said she hoped that countries in western Europe would be “forthcoming with new pledges for the minimization” of HEU and plutonium use at the 2014 summit.

Countries should focus on “hard cases,” such as “devising solutions” to the question of how to convert French and German research reactors from HEU to low-enriched uranium fuel or other alternatives, she said. Countries also should work on policy solutions to reduce stockpiles of civilian separated plutonium and excess military stocks of HEU and plutonium, she said.

The Dutch hoped to expand the scope of nuclear security at the 2014 summit to include military material, but it has proved challenging to negotiate, the official said.

Western Europe is “well positioned” to lead international efforts to eliminate excess military materials and to put “these stocks under international verification and monitoring,” Sokova said.

New Commitments

In addition to the commitments in the communiqué, some groups of countries are expected to make multilateral commitments at the 2014 summit.

One of these will come from the four Latin American participants—Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico—on their “common regional thought” on a comprehensive approach to nuclear security, Irma Arguello said in a Feb. 19 e-mail to Arms Control Today.

Arguello, the founder and chair of the Buenos Aires-based NPS Global Foundation, said that the statement will point out the “need to articulate nuclear security within the overall efforts to promote nuclear disarmament, nonproliferation and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.” It also will highlight the need to include military materials in summit efforts and say that measures to prevent nuclear terrorism are “no substitute for the enhanced security” that comes from the abolition of nuclear weapons, she said.

Tanya Ogilvie-White, research director at the Centre for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament at the Australian National University in Canberra, told Arms Control Today in a Feb. 12 e-mail that group action from the Asia-Pacific region is unlikely given the “spectrum of different attitudes to nuclear security and the summit process.” The summit process, however, has led more countries to “recognize and accept” the threat posed by expanding nuclear weapons arsenals and expanding energy programs in the region and take concrete steps to improve nuclear security, she said.

She highlighted stronger physical protection of nuclear materials in Pakistan and Japan’s establishment of an independent nuclear regulatory authority as key regional developments.

Ogilvie-White, who, like Sokova and Arguello, is a regional representative for the Washington-based Fissile Materials Working Group, identified the summit as an opportunity to create momentum toward an Asia-Pacific mechanism for the “sharing of nuclear security best practice, which could be used as a model for other regions.”

Australia’s efforts provide a model for other countries to follow, she said. For example, in the run-up to its 2013 review by the International Atomic Energy Agency of the physical protection of its research reactor, Australia invited countries in the region to share in its “experience of preparing for external peer review of its nuclear security practices,” Ogilvie-White said.

Looking toward the 2014 summit, she said she would like to see more countries in the region make commitments to address insider threats, which are “serious and growing” in the Asia-Pacific region.

Arguello also identified “vulnerable social and political environments” that “could favor terrorism and illicit trafficking” as the main sources of nuclear risk in her region.

Awareness of nuclear risks is low, she said, and many countries view nuclear security “as a problem of developed states.” At the 2014 summit, Arguello said, it is essential that participating states “define mechanisms and ways to include” states that are not participating in the process to help control regional nuclear risks.

The failure of several states to ratify a key nuclear security treaty is a disappointment, an official said, but a new initiative may increase the pace of ratifications.

The Nuclear Security Summit: Assessment of Joint Statements

By Michelle Cann, Kelsey Davenport and Sarah Williams

As 53 states prepare to meet in The Hague March 24-25 for the third Nuclear Security Summit, a new report released today by the Arms Control Association (ACA) and the Partnership for Global Security (PGS), finds that multilateral initiatives from the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit are improving targeted areas of nuclear security, but more ambitious initiatives are needed to address the lack of transparency and regime cohesion in the global nuclear security system.

Download this report.

No Date Set for Middle East Zone Meeting

Kelsey Davenport

Middle Eastern countries gathered last month to discuss the agenda for a conference on creating a zone free of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the Middle East, but made no announcement that they had made progress toward setting a date to convene the conference. The countries continue to disagree over the agenda, an official familiar with the process told Arms Control Today in an Oct. 29 e-mail.

Iran, Israel, and all the Arab League countries attended the meeting, which was held Oct. 21-22 in Glion, Switzerland.

Progress on the agenda has been held up over disagreements as to what weapons the zone’s ban should cover because some countries favor expanding the ban to include limits on certain types of conventional weapons, the official said.

The countries might meet again this month, the official added, but it is unclear if all will attend given the “frustration” over the lack of progress.

At the 2010 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the UN secretary-general were designated as the organizers of a conference on establishing a Middle Eastern WMD-free zone. The conference was originally scheduled for December 2012 in Helsinki, with Finnish Undersecretary of State Jaakko Laajava as conference facilitator. But the conveners announced the month before that the conference would be postponed. The United States attributed the postponement to disagreement among states in the region on core issues, including the agenda for the conference. (See ACT, December 2012.)

The decision to hold the conference was critical to the NPT parties’ agreement on the 2010 review conference’s final document. (See ACT, June 2010.)

In an Oct. 8 statement at the UN General Assembly First Committee, Mootaz Ahmadein Khalil, Egypt’s ambassador to the United Nations, outlined his country’s initiative for moving forward. The statement provided detail on an initiative presented by Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy on Sept. 28 during the UN General Assembly debate.

The initiative includes two steps, according to the Oct. 8 statement. First, it calls on all countries in the region and the permanent members of the Security Council (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) to submit letters to the UN secretary-general stating their support for creating the zone. Second, the countries are to simultaneously commit to signing and ratifying the relevant international conventions on weapons of mass destruction by the end of 2013, if they have not yet done so.

The relevant conventions include the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the NPT. Israel is the only country in the region not party to the NPT. Egypt and Israel are not party to the CWC, although Israel signed the convention in 1993. Syria officially became a party on Oct. 14. Egypt, Israel, and Syria also have not ratified the BWC, although Cairo and Damascus are signatories.

Egypt’s Sept. 28 initiative also called for the conference to be held by the end of the year or by the spring of 2014 “at the latest” and called on the facilitator and the conveners to “redouble their efforts” to hold the conference within that time frame.

In an Oct. 16 statement to the First Committee, David Roet, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, said Israel supports the “annual endorsement of this visionary goal” of creating the WMD-free zone but has “substantive reservations regarding certain elements.” Roet said that if “no progress has been made to date,” it is not due to a lack of cooperation by the Israelis, but because “Arab partners” have not made an effort to “engage with Israel directly on this issue and seek a consensual approach.”

The Naval Nuclear Reactor Threat to the NPT

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By Greg Thielmann and Serena Kelleher-Vergantini
July 24, 2013

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The nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) has long been a critical bulwark against the spread of nuclear weapons. Although preventing the production and accumulation of fissile material is an important part of this effort, the NPT does not explicitly regulate the production, use, and disposition of highly enriched uranium (HEU) for naval nuclear reactors. This exclusion poses a growing risk to achieving the nonproliferation goals of the treaty. While seeking to advance prospects for a fissile material cutoff treaty, the United States is continuing to design naval reactors for the world’s largest nuclear submarine fleet that are powered with weapons-grade uranium. While proclaiming its renunciation of any nuclear weapons ambitions, Brazil plans to build six nuclear submarines powered by uranium fuel that may be close to weapons grade. Neither the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) nor important NPT member states have fully confronted the proliferation implications of excluding naval reactor fuel from safeguards. The IAEA and NPT members should take steps to minimize the use of HEU for any reason—a goal they declared just this month at a nuclear security conference in Vienna.

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Preventing the production and accumulation of fissile material is an important objective of nuclear nonproliferation efforts. Unfortunately, the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) exempts the fuel used in naval propulsion reactors from the constraints the treaty otherwise applies to enriching uranium beyond the levels used in civilian power reactors. As the number of countries with nuclear-powered submarines expands, this exclusion poses a growing risk to achieving the nonproliferation goals of the treaty.

GAO Studies IAEA Nuclear Security Funds

Daniel Horner

Efforts by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to help countries improve nuclear security are hampered by a heavy reliance on so-called extra-budgetary contributions from member states, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in a report released June 17.

Relying on the extra-budgetary funds makes planning difficult for the IAEA, because the funding level fluctuates from year to year, the GAO said. IAEA member states provide such funds on top of their assessed contribution to the agency.

Another problem with the extra-budgetary funds is that the contributing countries often direct them to specific projects, the report said. The GAO, the investigative arm of Congress, recommended that the State Department “evaluate the nuclear security program’s long-term resource needs and assess whether the [IAEA’s] heavy reliance on extra-budgetary contributions is sufficient to plan and meet those needs.” In its response, published in the GAO report, the State Department disagreed. It acknowledged that “[b]y its nature,” extra-budgetary funding is “voluntary, unpredictable, and often comes with conditions,” but said that “given the limited regular budget for nuclear security, the IAEA will continue to rely heavily” on the extra-budgetary funds.

The report also covers the IAEA’s work to strengthen its safeguards program and establish a nuclear fuel bank.

Efforts by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to help countries improve nuclear security are hampered by a heavy reliance on so-called extra-budgetary contributions...

Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty at 45

President Lyndon Johnson looking on as Secretary of State Dean Rusk prepares to sign the NPT, 1 July 1968.(Source: Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library.) By Daryl G. Kimball Forty-five years ago today, the United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and dozens of other countries signed the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) at ceremonies in Washington, Moscow, and London. In his remarks at the July 1, 1968 signing ceremony , U.S. President Lyndon Johnson called it "... a very reassuring and hopeful moment in the relations among nations. We hope and expect that virtually all the...

The Prague Nuclear Agenda, Part Two

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen speaks at ACA's event at the National Press Club on April 11, 2013 By Tom Z. Collina Four years after the historic speech in Prague laying out his nuclear policy priorities, President Barack Obama must now decide which issues to focus on in his second—and last—term. The administration accomplished many important arms control and nonproliferation milestones since April 2009, such as the New START treaty, the Nuclear Posture Review, the Nuclear Security Summits, and the 2010 NPT review conference consensus, but much is left to be done, as this ACA fact sheet underscores. To...

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