Nuclear Security Index

Building a framework for assurance, accountability and action

Challenge

Global leaders meeting had no baseline for assessing the security of weapons-usable nuclear materials or nuclear facilities. 

Action

With the Economist Intelligence Unit, NTI created a first-of-its-kind public benchmarking of nuclear  security in 176 countries.

Results

The Nuclear Security Index helped shape the agenda for the Nuclear Security Summits and spurs action to enhance security and reduce highly-enriched uranium stocks. 

The 2018 NTI Nuclear Security Index website and report are now available here.


The NTI Nuclear Security Index is a first-of-its-kind public benchmarking project of nuclear security conditions on a country-by-country basis in 176 countries. Initially launched in 2012, the NTI Index, prepared with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), has sparked international discussions about priorities required to strengthen security and most important, is encouraging governments to provide assurances and take actions to reduce risks.

The NTI Index is recognized as the premier resource and tool for tracking progress on nuclear security.  The 2018 NTI Nuclear Security Index assesses the security of some of the world’s deadliest materials (highly enriched uranium and plutonium that can be used to build nuclear weapons), as well as the security of nuclear facilities, which, if sabotaged, could release dangerous levels of radiation. 

The NTI Index ranks countries with one kilogram or  more of weapons-usable nuclear materials across a  broad framework capturing policies, actions, and other conditions that shape their nuclear security. Additional countries with less than one kilogram of weapons-usable nuclear materials or none at all are assessed  across a subset of the framework. This “Theft Ranking”  has been included in every edition of the NTI Index. 

In 2016, the NTI Index added a third set of countries in a new “Sabotage Ranking.” An act of sabotage against a nuclear facility could lead to a dangerous radiation release. This assessment reviews the protection of nuclear facilities against sabotage in 44 countries and Taiwan. 

The project draws on NTI’s nuclear expertise and the EIU’s experience in constructing indices, and the reach of the EIU's global network analysts and contributors. NTI—working with an international panel of nuclear security experts and a number of technical advisors—focused on the framework and priorities that define effective nuclear materials security conditions. The EIU was responsible for developing the Excel-based model and gathering the data. 

The NTI Index consists of:

  • The print report with NTI findings and recommendations, methodology FAQs, and selected country summaries.
  • A web site at www.ntiindex.org with high-level results in an easily accessible format, including all country summaries.
  • A downloadable version of the NTI Index, available through the website, with complete results and data and extended interactive features, in an Excel format.

This project is led by Page Stoutland, vice president, nuclear materials program, with Erin Dumbacher, program officer. NTI thanks the funders who have supported this project, including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Robertson Foundation, and the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

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Latest Activity

NTI News

NTI Nuclear Security Index Challenge: Call for Submissions

The Nuclear Threat Initiative is looking for innovative new ways to use the NTI Nuclear Security Index rankings and data to improve understanding of the way nuclear materials and facilities are secured around the world and to highlight needs and spur action among governments.
NTI News

Important Nuclear Security Progress Now in Jeopardy, According to 2018 NTI Index

After years of progress on nuclear security, the fourth edition of the NTI Nuclear Security Index finds that the steps countries have taken to reduce the threat of catastrophic nuclear terrorism are jeopardized by a deterioration of political stability and governance, an increase in corruption, and the expanding presence of terrorist groups around the world. The 2018 NTI Index also finds that many countries remain poorly prepared to defend against rapidly expanding and evolving cyber threats to nuclear facilities.
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2018 NTI Nuclear Security Index Launch

Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC
The NTI Nuclear Security Index, a biennial assessment of nuclear security conditions worldwide, tracks progress on nuclear security across 176 countries. Now in its fourth edition, the 2018 NTI Index ranks nuclear security conditions in countries with some of the world’s deadliest materials—highly enriched uranium and plutonium that can be used to build nuclear weapons—and the security of nuclear facilities, which if sabotaged, could release dangerous radiation.
Atomic Pulse
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Countries Worldwide Take Steps to Improve Nuclear Security

Since the third edition of the 2016 NTI Nuclear Security Index, many countries have taken positive steps to improve their nuclear security conditions. NTI is tracking these improvements, which will be reflected in the next edition of the NTI Index.
NTI News
Atomic Pulse

Poland HEU Removal: Behind the Scenes

Andrew Bieniawski with a behind-the-scenes look at 10 years of remarkable nuclear security cooperation among the U.S., Poland, the IAEA, and Russia.
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Nuclear Security in the Middle East

James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, 1400 K Street, NW, Suite 1225, Washington, DC, 20005
Taking place on the eve of the Nuclear Security Summit, the speakers will bring an enlightening, regional perspective to the nuclear security community and seek to identify measures that regional states can adopt to increase nuclear security in their own countries and with respect to their ranking in the NTI Nuclear Materials Security Index.
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Plutonium & Highly Enriched Uranium 2015

Lindner Commons, 6th floor, 1957 E Street, NW Washington, DC 20052
The Institute for Science and International Security periodically develops estimates of national inventories of plutonium, highly enriched uranium (HEU), and other nuclear explosive materials. These estimates cover inventories used to make nuclear weapons and those part of civil nuclear programs. The nuclear explosive materials are categorized by country, quantity, origin, and use (military or civil). Understanding the size, status, and production of these materials is essential to preserving international security and reducing the risk of nuclear war, proliferation, and terrorism.
NTI News

Washington Post Raises Concerns For Nuclear Security Progress Post-Summit

In an editorial in the Washington Post, the editorial board praised the achievements of the Nuclear Security Summit, while raising serious concerns future progress after the fourth and final Nuclear Security Summit in March. Additionally, the editorial quoted NTI CEO and Co-Chairman on the state of U.S.-Russian relations.
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2016 NTI Nuclear Security Index Launch

Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
The 2016 NTI Nuclear Security Index assesses global nuclear security conditions in 176 countries. This year’s NTI Index focuses on two areas: the potential theft of weapons-usable nuclear materials and, for the first time, the potential sabotage of nuclear facilities.
NTI News

NEW Op-Ed: The Greatest Terrorist Threat

On the heels of the Paris attacks, Sam Nunn, Richard Lugar and Des Browne call on leaders to keep nuclear and radiological materials out of the hands of terrorists in a new Politico op-ed.
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Education Module Introduces Students to Nuclear Materials Security

A new education module for undergraduate and graduate college courses includes an introduction to nuclear materials security, a lecture outline and slides. The lesson plan includes a Model Nuclear Security Summit to develop students’ perspectives on nuclear materials security
NTI News
NTI News
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Nuclear Materials Security Education Module

This module is designed to serve as a toolkit to support undergraduate or graduate courses in international relations, security studies, diplomacy, counter-terrorism, or nuclear sciences. It consists of lesson plans and additional resources, including a PowerPoint briefing.
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2014 NTI Index Vienna Briefings

Vienna, Austria
NTI's Page Stoutland and Samantha Pitts-Kiefer will brief officials at the IAEA and members of the expert community at the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation.
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Countdown to the Nuclear Security Summit 2014

Washington, DC
NTI President Joan Rohlfing and Peter Mollema of the Netherlands Embassy in DC will discuss priorities for the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit at The George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs.
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Launch of the 2014 NTI Nuclear Materials Security Index

National Press Club
NTI released the 2014 Nuclear Materials Security Index, a unique public assessment of the status of nuclear materials security conditions in 176 countries, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on January 8, 2014.
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Gains in Global Nuclear Security

One year after the launch of the NTI Nuclear Materials Security Index, more countries have taken steps to reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism and illicit trafficking. NTI tracks progress and notes opportunities for further gains in a new progress report.
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A Next Step in Nuclear Arms Control: Securing Fissile Materials

The Brookings Institution
On June 28, NTI President Joan Rohlfing provided commentary to a panel discussion hosted by the Brookings Institution on the possibility of a nuclear control regime, requiring that all fissile materials be securely held.
NTI News

NTI Contributes to Inaugural Publication

NTI contributed an article on the NTI Nuclear Materials Security Index to the International Network of Emerging Nuclear Specialists' inaugural publication, INENS Insights, which was distributed at the NPT PrepCom in May 2012.
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MacArthur Foundation Interviews Deepti Choubey

The MacArthur Foundation interviews NTI senior director for nuclear and bio-security Deepti Choubey on the NTI Index and the urgent need to secure weapons-usable nuclear materials worldwide.
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London Briefing of the 2012 NTI Nuclear Materials Security Index

London, United Kingdom
Deepti Choubey, co-lead of the NTI Index project and NTI's Senior Director for Nuclear and Bio-Security, gave a briefing about the NTI Nuclear Materials Security Index at the Royal United Service Institute's London headquarters on Thursday, February 9, 2012.
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Partner Organizations

Economist Intelligence Unit

The Economist Intelligence Unit is one of the foremost research and analysis resource in the world. Founded in 1946 as an in-house research unit for The Economist, EIU delivers ...
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