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#NSS2016 Wrap-Up

April 4, 2016

Yak

We’re putting the NTI Summit Pop-Up Blog (and our fabulous yak photo) to bed today after an exciting and productive few weeks leading up to and during #NSS2016 – but not without a final wrap-up of the significant outcomes from the Summit, the work left to do, and highlights from NTI.

Among the Summit’s most notable outcomes:

  • The establishment of a nuclear security contact group that will serve as the primary vehicle for maintaining momentum on nuclear materials security after the summits.
  • Entry into force, within 30 days, of an amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials, which requires the protection of nuclear materials in use, storage and transit and the physical protection of nuclear facilities against sabotage. This important treaty amendment, adopted 11 years ago, will bolster the legal foundation for global nuclear security and strengthen the tools needed to combat nuclear terrorism. Read Senator Nunn’s statement.
  • An agreement included in the IAEA “Action Plan” to call for regular CPPNM review conferences, as argued in Arms Control Today by NTI’s Samantha Pitts-Kiefer.
  • One additional state—Argentina—fully cleaned out of highly enriched uranium, making Latin American and the Caribbean the first regional HEU-free region.
  • The largest nuclear material removal effort of the entire six-year summit process: More than 500kg of highly enriched uranium and plutonium from Japan.
  • An agreement by 22 countries on a comprehensive plan to minimize and ultimately eliminate HEU from their civilian nuclear programs.
  • A pledge from leaders of 28 countries to address the dirty bomb threat posed by poorly secured radioactive sources. Among the leaders’ commitments was to promote the development of safer alternative technologies that can be used in medicine, scientific research and industry and cannot be used by terrorists to build a radioactive bomb. This was a key recommendation in NTI’s Radiological Security Progress Report.

For the full list of countries’ commitments, check the #NSS2016 website.

We were disappointed that leaders didn’t tackle the security of military nuclear materials, which make up 83% of materials. However, we applaud the United States for issuing its own fact sheet on its military nuclear materials security, which builds confidence in those materials’ security. NTI has done significant work in this area, and we will continue to press for action.

For much more on the issues addressed at the Summit and on the security issues that still need work, spend some time exploring our 2016 Nuclear Security Index website and NTI’s site. And our experts will continue to address these issues.

And for a flavor of how the news media covered the Summit and how some of NTI’s leaders analyzed the developments:

With that, we’d like to thank you for reading NTI’s Pop-Up Blog and we’d like to give a final shout out, in the form of the photo below, to our favorite hardworking yak, former NTI VP Corey Hinderstein (and if this description for an Energy Department nuclear security and nonproliferation expert confuses you, see Decoding Summit Speak), and White House Senior Director for WMD Terrorism and Threat Reduction Laura Holgate, also an NTI alum.

corey