Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
Nuclear Summit States Look to Limit Use of HEU
Representatives from the roughly 50 countries slated to take part in the next Global Nuclear Security Summit this week came to an "in principle" decision to restrict the nonmilitary use of highly enriched uranium, a material that can be used to fuel nuclear weapons, the Yonhap News Agency reported (see GSN, Jan. 18).
Negotiators participating in a preparatory meeting for the March summit in South Korea "agreed in principle to minimize the use of civilian HEU in research reactors, in the medical sector and in other civilian applications," said a high-ranking South Korean diplomat who took part in the session in New Delhi.
The agreement on HEU material would be incorporated into the "Seoul Communique" -- the final document that nations taking part in the summit are expected to adopt. The event in the South Korean capital comes nearly two years after the first Global Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, where leaders pledged support for the goal of securing all vulnerable atomic materials within four years.
The upcoming summit is scheduled to take place on March 26-27 and will feature heads of states and senior officials from some 50 nations. China, France, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States are a few of the advanced nuclear nations expected to participate, Yonhap reported.
South Korean officials said one of the central matters to be covered at the event would be how to safeguard radioactive sources around the world from potential diversion by extremists seeking to produce an improvised nuclear weapon. Additional agenda issues will include "practical and concrete" options for minimizing the danger of a nuclear terrorist attack and preventing nuclear power crises like that at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi facility, officials said (Yonhap News Agency, Jan. 18).
Meanwhile, a large group of U.S. nonproliferation, medical and health specialists on Wednesday called on lawmakers to curb U.S. use of medical isotopes produced from Russian weapon-ready uranium and to prohibit entirely their employment no later than 2017, according to a release from the University of Texas at Austin's Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Project.
The group of experts in their letter to three House lawmakers said Russia was quickly increasing its utilization of bomb-grade uranium to produce the medical isotope molybdenum 99 in order to gain supremacy over isotope sales in the U.S. medical sector. Such an effort goes counter to U.S. moves to heighten this country's manufacturing of medical isotopes through reactors that do not use highly enriched uranium, according to the organization. Moscow's program could also raise the threat of nuclear terrorism, the letter states.
The specialists requested that lawmakers modify legislation approved in November by the Senate -- The American Medical Isotopes Production Act -- to mandate "preferential procurement" of isotopes that are not generated from weapon-usable uranium (Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Project release, Jan. 18).
Nov. 9, 2012
This report includes resources from the October 2012 meeting of the Global Dialogue on Nuclear Security Priorities in Dalfsen, The Netherlands.
The Nunn-Lugar Award for Promoting Nuclear Security: Continuing Andrew Carnegie’s Quest for Global Peace
Aug. 29, 2012
NTI co-chairman and CEO former Senator Sam Nunn accepted the inaugural "Nunn-Lugar Award for Promoting Nuclear Security" from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace at The Hague.
This article provides an overview of the United States’ historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.