Co-Founder, Co-Chair, and Strategic Advisor
Remarks by Former Senator Sam Nunn at the World Institute for Nuclear Security (WINS) 10th Anniversary
Ten years ago here in Vienna, I was proud to join IAEA Director General ElBaradei, U.S. Secretary of Energy Sam Bodman, Ambassador Johansen of Norway, and INMM President Nancy Jo Nicholas. We were gathered to announce an initiative aimed at ensuring that the world can continue to enjoy the great benefits of nuclear energy while defending against its potential dangers. We called it the World Institute for Nuclear Security or WINS.
In developing the WINS concept, NTI partnered with INMM and the U.S. Department of Energy. WINS would not have happened without the leadership of Secretary Bodman and Will Tobey. Will was then a leader in the Energy Department’s National Nuclear Security Administration. We at NTI were deeply saddened by Secretary Bodman’s recent death and are grateful for his exceptional public service. I know that this audience and all WINS members join me in thanking Will Tobey for his continued dedication and outstanding service as chair of the WINS Board of Directors.
I would like to add thanks to our friend Charlie Curtis who was president of NTI in 2008 and championed the WINS idea from the very beginning. Charlie could not be here today, but he served as the founding chair of the WINS Board and continues to be a dedicated and trusted advisor.
I also applaud Corey Hinderstein, Joyce Connery and Jim Tape, three leaders who played a decisive role and made WINS possible. And, of course, praise must go to the real heroes—Roger Howsley and the WINS staff—past and current. WINS has a blue-ribbon international team energized by a “start-up spirit” and dedicated to this crucial mission.
To put WINS’ 10th birthday in perspective, I will briefly address three key questions:
Why was WINS needed?
Our goal ten years ago was for every institution responsible for nuclear and radioactive material to join this organization—to share what they know and to learn from others.
It was a bold and ambitious strategy for an NGO. Today, 10 years later, Winston Churchill’s quote comes to mind: “No matter how brilliant the strategy, occasionally we must look at the results.”
So what has WINS accomplished?
Under Roger Howsley’s brilliant leadership, WINS has brought together nuclear security experts, the nuclear industry, governments, and international organizations to focus on rapid and sustainable improvements in security of weapons-usable nuclear materials as well as radioactive materials.
It is important to point out that WINS’ mission complements the essential regulatory work by governments and the authoritative guidance provided by the IAEA.
A few facts to consider:
Bottom line: WINS has done exactly what it was set up to do – and much more.
Why do we still need WINS?
In closing, WINS is robust, effective and growing. It is independent and, with your continued help, sustainable. As this crowd knows well, WINS must have resources to sustain and build its programs and to meet evolving nuclear security challenges.
This is not a fundraiser and you don’t need to grab your wallets. But in case there is a prospective donor, Roger Howsley and Will Tobey have authorized me to share with you what the pastor of my hometown church often told our congregation: “The Lord loves a cheerful giver, but we will also take money from a grouch!” Thank you.
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