(Article) U.S. - Nuclear Security Summit: Adopted Communiqué and Plan of Work

Nuclear Security Summit: Adopted Communiqué and Plan of Work

A major international summit convened by Barack Obama to discuss ways of improving the security of nuclear materials got underway on April 12, 2010 with the American resident underlining the importance of preventing terrorists from getting hold of the ingredients for a nuclear bomb in Washington.

The two-day summit brought together 47 countries, including the U.S., 37 of whom are being represented by their heads of state or government. A final declaration, negotiated over the past few months by officials from participating countries has been released.

Romania has nearly 1500MWe of nuclear generating capacity and sources 20 per cent of its electricity from nuclear energy, Bulgaria's two reactors account for 35 per cent of its national power grid, and Hungary has four reactors generating one-third of its power. All three countries also figure in the list compiled by the International Panel on Fissile Material with stocks of Highly Enriched Uranium in the 10-100 kg. range. Yet, neither country will be at the Washington summit, even though Armenia, with just 370MWe of nuclear power has been invited. Uzbekistan has also not been invited, despite holding HEU stocks in the 100-1000 kg range. But Georgia, with no nuclear programme to speak of, will be in Washington.

Two other countries whose presence ought to have been considered essential to such an end eavour are Niger and Namibia, who together account for nearly 18 per cent of the world's mined uranium. But the two African states, whose yellowcake drives much of the world's nuclear programme, were not considered important enough for the summit.

Laura Holgate, Senior Director, WMD Terrorism & Threat Reduction at National Security Council, told that the idea was to get a representative set of countries. “We couldn't invite every single country that has any nuclear connectivity and so we were looking for countries that represented regional diversity where we had states that had weapons, states that don't have weapons, states with large nuclear programs, states with small nuclear programs.”

Both India and Pakistan has attended the summit at the prime ministerial level. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pulled out at the last minute, opting to send his Foreign Minister instead.

Statement by Indian Prime Minister

Nuclear security is one of the foremost challenges we face today. I therefore wish to commend President Barack Obama for his initiative in convening this Summit on Nuclear Security. We would like the Summit to lead to concrete out comes which help make our world a safer place.

The developmental applications of nuclear science in areas such as medicine, agriculture, food preservation and availability of fresh water are by now well established. Today, nuclear energy has emerged as a viable source of energy to meet the growing needs of the world in a manner that is environmentally sustainable. There is a real prospect for nuclear technology to address the developmental challenges of our times.

In India we have ambitious plans for using nuclear energy to meet our growing energy needs. Our target is to increase our installed capacity more than seven fold to 35000MWe by the year 2022, and to 60,000 M We by 2032.

The nuclear industry’s safety record over the last few years has been encouraging. It has helped to restore public faith in nuclear power. Safety alone, however, is not enough. The challenge we face today is that of ensuring nuclear security.

The danger of nuclear explosives or fissile material and technical know-how falling in to the hands of non-state actors continues to haunt our world. India is deeply concerned about the danger it faces, as do other States, from this threat.

Since 2002, we have piloted a resolution at the United Nations General Assembly on measures to deny terrorists access to Weapons of Mass Destruction. We fully support the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 and the United Nations Global Counter Terrorism Strategy. The primary responsibility for ensuring nuclear security rests at the national level, but national responsibility must be accompanied by responsible behaviour by States. If not, it remains an empty slogan. All States should scrupulously abide by their international obligations. It is a matter of deep regret that the global non-proliferation regime has failed to prevent nuclear proliferation. Clandestine proliferation networks have flourished and led to insecurity for all, including and especially for India We must learn from past mistakes and institute effective measures to prevent their recurrence.

The world community should join hands to eliminate the risk of sensitive and valuable materials and technologies falling into hands of terrorists and illicit traffickers. There should be zero tolerance for individuals and groups which engage in illegal trafficking in nuclear items.

Global non-proliferation, to be successful, should be universal, comprehensive and non-discriminatory and linked to the goal of complete nuclear disarmament. We welcome the fact that the world is veering around to our view that the best guarantor of nuclear security is a world free from nuclear weapons.

Starting with Jawaharlal Nehru over five decades ago, India has been in the forefront of the call for global and complete nuclear disarmament. In 2006 India proposed the negotiation of a Nuclear Weapons Convention. We have also expressed our readiness to participate in the negotiation of an internationally verifiable Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty in the Conference on Disarmament.

Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had put forward a concrete Action Plan in 1988 for the universal and non-discriminatory elimination of nuclear weapons leading to global nuclear disarmament in a time- ound framework. I once again reiterate India’s call to the world community to work towards the realisation of this vision.

We welcome the agreement between the United States and Russia to cut their nuclear arsenals as a step in the right direction. I call upon all states with substantial nuclear arsenals to further accelerate this process by making deeper cuts that will lead to meaningful disarmament.

We are encouraged by the Nuclear Posture Review announced by President Obama. India supports the universalisation of the policy of No First Use. The salience of nuclear weapons in national defence and security doctrines must be reduced as a matter of priority. The dangers of nuclear terrorism make the early elimination of nuclear weapons a matter of even greater urgency.

The Indian Atomic Energy Act provides the legal framework for securing nuclear materials and facilities, and the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board ensures independent oversight of nuclear safety and security. We are party to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and its 2005 amendment.

India’s three stage nuclear power programme which began sixty years ago is based on a closed nuclear fuel cycle. A direct benefit of this is that it ensures control over nuclear material that is generated as spent fuel. At the same time, we are continually upgrading technology to develop nuclear systems that are intrinsically safe, secure and proliferation resistant. We have recently developed an Advanced Heavy Water Reactor based on Low Enriched Uranium and thorium with new safety and proliferation- resistant features.

India has maintained an impeccable non-proliferation record, of which we are proud of. As a responsible nuclear power, India has and will not be the source of proliferation of sensitive technologies. We have a well-established and effective export control system which has worked without fail for over six decades. We have strengthened this system by harmonisation of our guidelines and lists with those of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the Missile Technology Control Regime. Our commitment to not transfer nuclear weapons or related materials and technologies to non-nuclear weapon states or non-state actors is enshrined in domestic law through the enactment of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Act. We stand committed not to transfer reprocessing and enrichment technologies and equipment to countries that do not possess them.

As a founder member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, we have consistently supported the central role of the IAEA in facilitating national efforts to strengthen nuclear security and in fostering effective international cooperation. We have so far conducted nine Regional Training Courses on Nuclear Security in cooperation with the IAEA. We have entered into a Safeguards Agreement with the
IAEA in 2008, and have decided to place all future civilian thermal power reactors and civilian breeder reactors under IAEA safeguards.

We will continue to work with the IAEA and our partners in the United Nations as well as other forums such as the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism to upgrade standards, share experiences and ensure effective implementation of international benchmarks on nuclear security.

we have decided to set up a “Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership” in India. We visualize this to be a state of the art facility based on international participation from the IAEA and other interested foreign partners. The Centre will consist of four Schools dealing with Advanced Nuclear Energy System Studies, Nuclear Security, Radiation Safety, and the application of Radioisotopes and Radiation Technology in the areas of healthcare, agriculture and food. The Centre will conduct research and development of design systems that are intrinsically safe, secure, proliferation resistant and sustainable. We would welcome participation in this venture by your countries, the IAEA and the world to make this Centre’s work a success.

Communiqué and Plan of Work

The 47-nationNuclear Security Summit ended with the adoption of a short final communiqué and seven page work plan aimed at promoting the effective security of nuclear materials worldwide.

The communiqué includes general commitments while the more specific work plan constitutes a political commitment by participating countries to carry out applicable measures, on a voluntary basis, in all aspects of the storage, use, transportation and disposal of nuclear materials.

Unlike most nuclear documents springing from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty system, the Washington communiqué makes no legal distinction between nuclear weapon states and the rest. Nor is there any reference to the NPT. Instead, it reaffirms the fundamental responsibility of States, consistent with their international obligations, to maintain effective security of all nuclear materials. These materials are defined as including “nuclear materials used in nuclear weapons, and nuclear facilities under their control.”

The document calls for wider support for existing international instruments on nuclear security such as the 1979 Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and its 2005 amendment, the Convention on the Suppression of Nuclear Terrorism.

There is no reference in the documents to U.N. Security Council Resolution 1887 on nuclear security and non-proliferation, passed last year at the urging or U.S. President Barack Obama. Indian officials say the reference in that to NPT adherencemeant it could not be included in the communiqué.

But the communiqué and work plan have words of support for the G8-led Global Partnership against the Spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction. This initiative includes the annual G8 statements on nonproliferation, the last of which sought to prevent India from accessing enrichment and reprocessing technologies.

The work plan covers a wide range of issues from nuclear detection and forensics to exchange of information to detect and prevent illicit nuclear trafficking, and the promotion of nuclear security culture.

The document recognises that highly enriched uranium (HEU) and separated plutonium—basic ingredients of a nuclear weapon require special precautions and that participating countries agree to “promotemeasures to secure, account for, and consolidate the sematerials.” It also says that they agree to encourage the conversion of reactors from HEU to low-enriched uranium, a stated priority of the U.S. in the run-up to the Summit.

Next Nuclear Security Summit in the South Korea

President Barack Obama announced that the next Nuclear Security Summit would be held in the Republic of Korea (South Korea) in two years. He said that this would help to “ensure that our progress is not a fleeting moment, but part of a serious and sustained effort.”

Mr. Obama said the summits provided the nations with the opportunity to take specific and concrete national-level actions to secure the nuclear materials, to strengthen the International Atomic Energy Agency, and to deepen international cooperation aimed at preventing nuclear materials from falling into the hands of terrorists.

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