35 Countries Pledge to Boost Nuclear Material Security
Thirty-five countries pledged Tuesday to turn international guidelines on nuclear security into national laws, including France, Britain, Canada and Israel, The Associated Press reports. This move is aimed at preventing terrorists from acquiring nuclear material. The initiative also commits countries to open up their security procedures to independent review – a further step toward creating an international legal framework to mitigate risks of nuclear terrorism.
Russia, China, India and Pakistan did not agree to the initiative.
The agreement was accepted by 35 of the 53 nations taking part in the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague. Over the course of three summits since President Barack Obama launched the series in 2010, the number of countries with enough material to build a nuclear weapon has fallen from 39 to 25, the article reports. At this summit, Japan, Italy and Belgium all pledged to reduce their stocks of highly enriched uranium and plutonium.
Other groups of nations have pledged to increase efforts to combat illicit trafficking in nuclear material, boost maritime security and develop low-enriched uranium for research reactors instead of the highly enriched, weapons-grade fuel currently widely used, according to AP.