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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 43, January - February 2000

Study on Russian Nuclear Materials Safety and Security

"Managing the Global Nuclear Materials Threat", report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, released January 27, 2000.

Press Release

"Managing Loose Nukes: CSIS Report", CSIS Press Release, February 2, 2000.

"Unsecured nuclear weapons and leftover nuclear material from arms dismantled after the Cold War continue to pose the most devastating international security threat, according to a new CSIS report.

The report recommends that the United States appoint a senior-level official to coordinate the effort to corral loose nukes. It also calls for US leadership and international cooperation to buy more excess weapons material and convert it to peaceful nuclear-power uses. The report states that the likelihood of a single nuclear weapon being used to destroy a major city has increased. Theft of just a few kilograms of plutonium or highly enriched uranium (HEU), the primary component of nuclear weapons, could give a rogue state or terrorist group nuclear capability.

… The CSIS panel calls for:

  • The United States, with an international consortium of nuclear countries if possible, to buy an additional 50 tons of Russian HEU at a cost of $1 billion and make the existing US-Russian HEU agreement a higher priority;
  • Consolidating Russian nuclear materials in fewer sites to increase security, lower costs;
  • Developing an international management standard for nuclear materials transparency;
  • Russia to work with Western governments and business to accelerate the process of commercialising excess nuclear infrastructure;
  • Europe and Asia to increase their contributions to enhancing nuclear security;
  • The United States to renew its commitment to nuclear power as a way to meet future energy needs while protecting the environment;
  • Increasing funding for nuclear research and development and nuclear engineering education… ."
Source: A summary of this report is available on the Acronym Institute's website at http://www.acronym.org.uk/usrussia.htm. The full report can be found on the CSIS website at http://www.csis.org

© 2000 The Acronym Institute.

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