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The Nuclear Security Summit

April 14, 2010

On Tuesday, April 13, 2010, 47 Heads of State gathered in Washington, DC to attend the Nuclear Security Summit.  The day-long summit provided a chance for these nations to discuss the risks of nuclear terrorism and plausible solutions to prevent the trafficking of nuclear materials and the possibility of a nuclear terrorist attack.  As stated in the Key Facts about the Nuclear Summit, “Leaders in attendance have renewed their commitment to ensure that nuclear materials under their control are not stolen or diverted for use by terrorists, and pledged to continue to evaluate the threat and improve the security as changing conditions may require, and to exchange best practices and practical solutions for doing so.” This fact sheet provides a good overview of the summit and the next steps the participating nations plan to take.

One of the final documents produced at the summit is the Communiqué of the Washington Nuclear Summit.  It is the political statement of the 47 countries to, “strengthen nuclear security and reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism.” The Communiqué states, “We welcome and join President Obama’s call to secure all vulnerable nuclear material in four years, as we work together to enhance nuclear security.” The document also encourages, “the conversion of reactors from highly enriched to low enriched uranium fuel and minimization of use of highly enriched uranium, where technically and economically feasible.”

The Work Plan of the Washington Nuclear Security Summit is a document that, “lays out the specific steps that will need to be taken to bring the vision of the Communiqué into reality.” One such step is to, convert “highly-enriched-uranium fueled research reactors, and other nuclear facilities using highly enriched uranium, to use low enriched uranium, where it is technically and economically feasible.” The Work Plan also encourages the ratification of treaties on nuclear security.

The 47 nations agreed to meet again in 2012 in the Republic of Korea to evaluate the efforts taken after the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington and to establish new goals for the future.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Judith Lauer permalink
    April 15, 2010 10:18 pm

    The only fail proof way to keep nuclear materials out of the hands of terrorists is to destroy ALL nuclear weapons and materials.

  2. Michael permalink
    April 22, 2010 1:38 am

    In the midst of progress towards nuclear disarmament these negotiations led to the regression of China giving in to pressure to put in place sanctions against Iran. I heard this while listening to NPR, but I haven’t heard it anywhere else, so I wanted to point it out or be corrected if I heard incorrectly.

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