LockDown, CleanOut, FissBan
48th Strategy for Peace Conference
 
 
In October 2007 a group of academics, policy advocates, and government officials gathered for the Stanley Foundation’s annual Strategy for Peace Conference to discuss options for securing, consolidating, and eliminating fissile materials.

Today more than 2,300 stockpiled tons of separated highly enriched uranium and plutonium pose a significant proliferation risk, and that risk could grow if plans for an expansion in civilian nuclear energy materialize. Since 2005 more than 20 nonnuclear countries have expressed interest in installing nuclear reactors, and along with them, possibly adding uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing plants. Current efforts to restrict the expansion of such sensitive technologies—already inadequate—are competing with efforts to diversify and find new energy resources. New measures are needed.

The group discussed not only the risks but also potential solutions or mitigations to them. Given that, globally, states will vary in the priority they place on reducing risks, for example, it is essential for the international community to craft measures and initiatives for the physical protection of existing stocks, and to maintain current physical protection criteria such as those defined by the IAEA, as well as to devise norms for the cessation of weapons-usable fissile material production that are widely acceptable and enforceable.

For another, as there is no international mechanism to track the effective adherence to obligations on physical protection of materials and facilities and states are likely to oppose such mechanisms, a compromise between state sovereignty and international security is needed.

This brief paper discusses these and related fissile material issues and offers a set of conclusions and recommendations for policymakers.



This page is part of Rising Powers: The New Global Reality, a project from the Stanley Foundation.