Since the release of the third edition of the NTI Nuclear Security Index in January 2016, countries have taken positive steps to improve their nuclear security conditions. Many of these improvements are listed below and will be reflected in the next edition of the NTI Index.
While this progress is important and encouraging, much more needs to be done to achieve the ultimate goal of a comprehensive, global system for nuclear security. We see key opportunities in four areas: materials minimization and elimination, strengthening the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), conducting peer reviews, and enhancing commitments to global norms and legal instruments.
Material Minimization and Elimination
During the Nuclear Security Summit process, early progress was made on minimizing and eliminating highly enriched uranium (HEU) and separated Plutonium (Pu) for civilian use. The 2016 NTI Index found that progress in this area slowed. Later that year, however, two countries—Poland and Argentina—announced they had successfully removed all HEU and separated Pu from their territory. The Nuclear Security Summits boosted international efforts to reduce nuclear material around the world, but today more work remains.