By Matthew Bunn So what did the nuclear security summit in The Hague accomplish? A good deal. Despite being overshadowed by the crisis in Ukraine and the associated crush of side meetings, the summit in The Hague once again served as a forcing event to cut through bureaucracy and get important decisions made. Just as having friends over for dinner motivates you to clean up your house, going to a major global summit motivates leaders to push their bureaucracies to give them something worthwhile to talk about when they get there. Read more about Progress at The Hague Nuclear Security Summit
By Graham Allison On Monday, President Obama will join Chinese President Xi Jinping, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and 40 other heads of state in the Netherlands for the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit. It will be the third in a series of summits initiated by Obama to address what he has called “the most immediate and extreme threat to global security”: nuclear terrorism. These gatherings have become a powerful means of motivating leaders to eliminate or secure the fissile material that terrorists could use to carry out a nuclear 9/11.Read more about The Step We Still Haven't Taken to Create a Nuke Free World
By Graham Allison Presidents Obama, Xi, Chancellor Merkel and 40 other heads of state assemble in the Netherlands early this week for the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit. The meeting is in The Hague, home of the iconic Peace Palace. We can hope that the briefing books for those attending the summit include a photo of the Palace and enough about its history for them to recognize not only the irony but also lessons from its story for the work they are undertaking. Read more about Lessons from The Hague Peace Palace for the Nuclear Security Summit
More than 50 world leaders are gathered in The Hague right now for the third Nuclear Security Summit. At this moment, they are reaffirming existing commitments and announcing new initiatives for preventing nuclear weapons from ending up in the hands of terrorists.
By Matthew Bunn Today, the United States and Japan announced that Japan would eliminate all the plutonium and highly-enriched uranium at its Fast Critical Assembly (FCA) at Tokai-mura. This is a tremendous step forward for nuclear security; for terrorists, this would be some of the best material that exists in any non-nuclear-weapon state. The material includes 331 kilograms of plutonium, most of it weapons-grade, and 214.5 kilograms of weapons-grade HEU. (The FCA also includes over a ton of material just at the 20 percent U-235 mark that defines HEU.) The weapons-grade HEU is enough for four simple terrorist “gun-type” bombs or a larger number of trickier-to-build implosion bombs. The plutonium amounts to more than 40 bombs worth of material. Read more about Eliminating Potential Bomb Material from Japan’s Fast Critical Assembly
By Eben Harrell In September 2009, a group of masked men armed with automatic weapons and explosives arrived on the roof of a cash depot in Vastberg, Sweden in a helicopter. The men blasted their way through a skylight and hoisted millions of dollars up to the hovering aircraft — the operation took less than 20 minutes. When police rushed to respond they discovered a bag with the word “bomb” at their heliport — a diversion planted by the thieves — and caltrops (road spikes) near the depot to slow down their response on the ground. While many of the thieves were caught after an investigation, most of the money was never recovered. Read more about We're Not Prepared for a Nuclear Heist
By Graham Allison With Ukraine melting down and the confrontation between Russia and the West heating up, both partisan critics and impartial observers can be excused for asking why U.S. President Barack Obama is going to The Hague this Sunday, March 23, for the third Nuclear Security Summit. Given all the other urgent demands, should nuclear security be at the top of the agenda at this time, and even if it should be, can this gathering do anything about it?