India and the Nuclear Security Summit

By Dr. Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan

 The fourth and final Nuclear Security Summit took place in Washington DC from March 31-April 01, 2016.  Despite the initial apprehension about the summits in certain parts of the world, it has been a useful process.  With more than 50 countries represented from across the world, the summits elevated the level of awareness of nuclear security. Leaders of established nuclear states began to think about nuclear security in a new way, reducing complacency about the risks of terrorism and sabotage.  This thinking took shape in national and multilateral commitments in areas including nuclear security regulation, physical protection of nuclear materials, nuclear forensics, protection against nuclear smuggling, and insider threats and nuclear terrorism.

The Nuclear Security Summit and the IAEA: Advocating Much and Avoiding Specifics

By Trevor Findlay

The 2016 Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) in Washington D.C. on 1 April issued a seven-page Action Plan in Support of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). It contains steps that the summit participants commit themselves to taking and those they “advocate” the Agency “pursue”. In endorsing this plan, 2016 Summit participants focused more detailed attention on the IAEA than those who participated in the previous four nuclear security summits.

China Makes Significant Nuclear Security Pledges at 2016 Summit

By Hui Zhang

One important outcome of the fourth and final Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) is that China, for the first time ever, joined six “gift baskets” and also made significant additional commitments.  Most notably, China joined the 2014 gift basket on “strengthening nuclear security implementation” and agreed to a U.S.-Chinese joint statement on nuclear security cooperation.

The gift of reminding everyone that disarmament still matters

By Martin Malin

My colleague Matthew Bunn has argued that nuclear security provides a foundation for all three pillars of the NPT. I agree with him. An act of nuclear terrorism would likely put an end to the growth and spread of nuclear energy. Nonproliferation cannot be achieved as long as stocks of highly enriched uranium or plutonium remain vulnerable to theft. And states will not give up the arsenals they possess as long as they believe that agents of an enemy state could steal nuclear weapons or materials to acquire a nuclear capability overnight.

A Step Forward for the International Nuclear Security Regime

By Nickolas Roth

One of the key announcements at the Nuclear Security Summit today was that enough countries have ratified the amendment to the Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials (CPPNM) for it to enter into force. The 1980 CPPNM criminalizes nuclear theft and includes requirements for securing civilian nuclear material in international transport.  In 2005, a proposed amendment to the CPPNM was opened for signature that would extend its coverage to include physical protection for materials in domestic use, storage, and transport, and sabotage of nuclear facilities.