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Nuclear Security: Seoul, the Netherlands and Beyond

by and

The scope of the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) has evolved since the process was initiated in 2010. The NSS originally focused only on fissile materials, but now also addresses radioactive source security and the safety and security interface at nuclear facilities. Many consider nuclear security a vital foundation of the global nuclear regime, but it has not been as prominent a discipline as nonproliferation or nuclear safety. However, progress on nuclear disarmament, nonproliferation, and peaceful use are predicated on adequate security structures keeping the material and related equipment protected. In this way, nuclear security underpins, but is separate from, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and its politics related to nuclear weapons “haves” and “have nots.”

This report is based on discussions from a workshop titled, “Nuclear Security: Seoul, the Netherlands and Beyond,” held in September 2012 in London, UK. The workshop was sponsored by the U.S.-Korea Institute at SAIS, the Partnership for Global Security, and the International Institute for Strategic Studies as part of an ongoing dialogue on nuclear security governance.

The report draws on major strands of the discussions put forward at that workshop and provides recommendations in key issue areas:[1] the NSS process; technical and policy initiatives within the NSS; emerging economies and the Non-Aligned Movement; building cooperation between industry, experts and government; the nuclear security/safety interface; innovating global nuclear security governance; and maintaining political momentum. It examines the accomplishments and shortcomings of the NSS process to date and looks ahead to the challenges and opportunities facing the 2014 and 2016 summits and beyond.

This report was made possible with generous support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.