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What Is the “Risk Environment” for Nuclear Security?

September 3, 2018

The NTI Index takes a holistic view of nuclear security, including a Risk Environment category that measures indicators of political stability, effective governance, the pervasiveness of corruption, and whether there are groups in the country interested in and capable of illicitly acquiring nuclear materials. Such factors have the potential to affect measures designed to ensure that a country’s nuclear materials and facilities are secure.

Political stability and effective governance underpin the management, security, and control of nuclear materials and facilities. High levels of corruption can lead to the compromise of security measures.

The presence of a terrorist or criminal group in a country and its interest in illicitly acquiring weapons-usable nuclear materials or in committing acts of nuclear terrorism affects a country’s risk context for nuclear security. Although publicly available information in this area is limited, the EIU reviews various secondary sources and applies a gradient scale to rate the relative capabilities and intent of known groups in each country.

To develop country scores in the Risk Environment category, the EIU also relies on proprietary information contained in its Risk Briefing and Business Environment Ranking reports. Those reports are updated quarterly and take into account both present conditions and future expectations. Information on the presence of relevant terrorist groups is developed by EIU analysts, who build on information provided by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland.

Additional information is available in How the Index Works.