Nuclear Security Issues

Nuclear Security Issues

Nuclear Security in 2013 (Continuation)

United States views on international law [1] in relation to Nuclear Security: The Japan-U.S. Nuclear Security Working Group made progress on promoting robust security for nuclear materials at civilian nuclear facilities and during transport.

The United States, Russia and Kazakhstan unveiled the near competition of a joint project to eliminate the remnants of past nuclear testing activities at a former nuclear test site More than a dozen weapons worth of nuclear material was entombed using special cement and security barriers and is now safely secured Summit participants also discussed some topics new to the Summit process such as nuclear safety and radiological terrorism. However, the Summit was about more than just reporting on past progress.

More about Nuclear Security

At the end of the Summit, countries agreed to a detailed Communiqué that advances important nuclear security goals. The Seoul Communique sets out 11 priority areas in nuclear security, including:

1. security, accounting, and control of nuclear materials and minimizing the use of highly-enriched uranium

2. radioactive sources

3. nuclear security and safety

4. transportation security

5. combating illicit trafficking

6. nuclear forensics

7. nuclear security culture

8. information security


Many countries agreed to a number of multilateral joint commitments or what we called “gift baskets,” each of which has detailed work plans to ensure their success. These gift baskets include work on:

thwarting the illicit trafficking of nuclear or other radioactive materials drafting national legislation to implement nuclear security agreements measures to detect and prevent nuclear terrorism commitments among the United States and several European nations to work toward eliminating the use of potentially vulnerable highly enriched uranium (HEU) in isotope production by the end of 2015, while maintaining a reliable supply of medical isotopes used to diagnose cancer and heart disease promoting the security of nuclear materials while in transit establishing and coordinating centers of excellence


Despite the successes, there is still work to be done to ensure all nuclear material is secure and we have done all we can to prevent nuclear terrorism. Nuclear material continues to be stored without adequate protection, at risk of exploitation by terrorists and criminal gangs that have expressed an interest. We look forward to working with our international partners to further secure vulnerable nuclear material and make progress toward the President's nonproliferation agenda.


The next summit will be in 2014 and hosted by The Netherlands. We seek additional progress at that event in the global effort to secure all nuclear material to ensure those materials do not get into the hands of terrorists. Two Dutch priorities for the 2014 summit are ratification of the amended CPPNM by countries that have not yet done so and promoting/advancing the use of voluntary IAEA IPPAS (International Physical Protection Advisory Service) missions.



  1. Nuclear Security in the Digest of United States Practice in International Law