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For the first time, the 2016 NTI Index assesses nuclear security conditions related to the protection of nuclear facilities against acts of sabotage. This new ranking includes 45 countries where an act of sabotage against a nuclear facility could result in a significant radiological release similar in scale to the release in Japan in 2011 when a tsunami hit the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.  This new “sabotage ranking” provides a first-time look at the security conditions in countries with less than one kilogram of or no weapons-usable nuclear materials but that have nuclear power plants or research reactors.

The 2016 NTI Index sabotage ranking found that many developing states with only research reactors, such as Algeria, Bangladesh, and Morocco, have yet to establish effective domestic nuclear security regimes to protect their nuclear facilities from sabotage. Three countries that have only research reactors but are considering new nuclear energy programs—Chile, Egypt, and Indonesia—do not yet have the legal and regulatory structure required for effective security of their nuclear facilities. Some states with well-established nuclear energy programs, such as South Korea and Taiwan, have security and control scores that are average for countries with nuclear power programs.

Finally, the sabotage ranking also found that although some states have been taking steps to protect their nuclear facilities from cyber attacks, many are still unprepared to deal with cyber attacks that might lead to sabotage.

Criteria

The assessment includes 45 countries that have one or more of the following facilities:

  • Operating nuclear power reactors, or nuclear power reactors that have been shut down within the last five years
  • Research reactors with a capacity of two megawatts or greater
  • Reprocessing facilities
  • Spent fuel pools, only if the fuel has been discharged in the last five years and if not associated with an operating reactor