In January 2012, the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) released the NTI Nuclear Materials Security Index, a first-of-its-kind public assessment of nuclear materials security conditions in 176 countries.
One year after the launch of the NTI Index, more countries have taken steps to reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism and illicit trafficking. NTI released a progress report, titled, Global Nuclear Security Gains: NTI Nuclear Materials Security Index, One-Year Progress Report, tracking progress in the global effort to secure all vulnerable nuclear materials and noting areas for further gains ahead of the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit and beyond.
Examples of measurable progress include:
- Three countries – Austria, Mexico, and Ukraine – have completely eliminated all weapons-usable nuclear material from their territories.
- Five more countries – Kazakhstan, Poland, South Africa, Sweden, and Uzbekistan – have reduced their stockpiles of weapons-usable nuclear material.
- China and India for the first time contributed to the IAEA’s Nuclear Security Fund, which assists states in preventing, detecting, and responding to nuclear terrorism.
These and other achievements noted in the progress report are welcome, but significant challenges remain. Despite the growing importance attached to nuclear security by world leaders and two Nuclear Security Summits over the past four years, there is still no global system in place for tracking, accounting for, managing, and securing all weapons-usable nuclear materials.
To measure progress and to continue to hold states accountable, NTI is working with a distinguished panel of international experts and the Economist Intelligence Unit to release the next version of the NTI Nuclear Materials Security Index in early 2014, in advance of the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit in the Netherlands.