The theft ranking scores states across five broad categories: Quantities and Sites; Security and Control Measures; Global Norms; Domestic Commitments and Capacity; and Risk Environment. Within the five categories, the index uses dozens of indicators to assess nuclear materials security conditions.

Quantities and Sites 
Applies to countries with weapons-usable nuclear materials

Assesses how much material a state has, at how many sites it is stored, and how often it is moved. Also assesses whether a state’s total stocks of weapons-usable nuclear materials are increasing, are decreasing, or remain unchanged.

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Security and Control Measures 
Applies to countries with weapons-usable nuclear materials

Assesses how robust a state’s rules and regulations are governing the physical protection and security of their materials.

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Global Norms 
Applies to countries with weapons-usable nuclear materials
Applies to countries without weapons-usable nuclear materials

Assesses whether the state participates in international legal agreements governing nuclear materials security, makes voluntary commitments, and provides assurances about its inventories and security.

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Domestic Commitments and Capacity 
Applies to countries with weapons-usable nuclear materials
Applies to countries without weapons-usable nuclear materials

Evaluates how well a state follows through on its international obligations, whether it adheres to IAEA safeguards, and whether it has an independent regulatory agency.

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Risk Environment 
Applies to countries with weapons-usable nuclear materials
Applies to countries without weapons-usable nuclear materials

Examines factors that contribute or detract from a state’s ability to prevent nuclear theft – such as government corruption, prospects for instability, the effectiveness of governance, and the known presence of groups seeking to illicitly acquire nuclear materials.

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