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Links 1 through 10 of 622 by The Stanley Foundation The Stanley Foundation tagged SecureLooseNukes

Kazakhstan, Astana, Feb. 23 / Trend T. Nurmagambetov /

Kazakhstan became the twenty fourth member of the G-8 Global Partnership against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, the Kazakh Foreign Ministry said today.

"It was officially announced that Kazakhstan has been admitted to the Global Partnership as a recipient country during the meeting of experts in Washington," a statement said.

The Global Partnership against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction was established at the G-8 summit in Kananaskis (Canada) on, June 27, 2002. The validity of this initiative was originally designed for 10 years, until 2012. A decision was made to extend the mandate of the Global Partnership after 2012, expanding its geography and scope at the G-8 summit in Deauville (France) in May 2011.

The main areas of cooperation include nuclear, radiological, and biological safety, employment of academics involved in sensitive areas, as well as assistance in the third cou

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It is a fact that nuclear terrorism is a global threat and has become a worldwide concern. But what is particularly frightening is that there is no clearly defined plan for securing all nuclear materials. According to the Nuclear Threat Initiative's (NTI) Nuclear Material Security Index, there is no global consensus about what steps matter most in achieving nuclear security. Practices regulating the production, use, and security of weapons-usable nuclear materials are determined on a country-by-country basis. But getting to global consensus means regional -- not just national -- strength, and the Latin American region cannot afford to be an outside player. Latin America must have a strong, unified position to confront the nuclear terrorist threat and to enhance a nuclear security world order.

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The doomsday scenario of Soviet nukes falling into the hands of rogue states or terrorists has, as far as is known, remained fiction, thanks to a massive U.S.-Russian effort to lock the weaponry up safely after the Soviet Union fell apart.

The vast nuclear arsenal, scattered among several newly independent nations, was secured because Russian military officers acted with professionalism and honesty, Moscow and Washington shared clear priorities, and the U.S. taxpayer coughed up billions of dollars, former top officials who dealt with the Soviet nuclear legacy say.

Even so, as the world marks the 20th anniversary of the Soviet demise at the end of 1991, occasional doubts surface about whether the system was airtight. There's the Russian scientist who perhaps went to work for Iran's nuclear program, an old claim that portable nuclear devices went astray, the seizures of smuggled fissile material in the 1990s.

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IN APRIL 2010, Barack Obama convinced leaders from forty-seven countries to meet in Washington and discuss a topic to which most had previously paid scarce attention: securing vulnerable nuclear materials. Most of these leaders cared little about the matter at hand but were eager to please a popular new U.S. president with the goal of securing all nuclear materials within four years. The desire to cultivate Obama’s favor had an important payoff: high-profile attention to an issue that has often lingered in obscurity, even compared to other concerns in the abstruse world of global nuclear politics. And that attention meant potentially significant progress in keeping nuclear-weapons materials from terrorists.

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NTI sponsored a “tabletop exercise” that simulated a crisis involving seizures of kilogram-quantities of weapons-usable nuclear material. Involving prominent Russian and US experts, this simulation demonstrated that there are significant but removable barriers to effectively and safely managing the crisis. These barriers are so serious that they could lead to significant delays in the two governments’ ability to act and ultimately could compromise successfully thwarting the detonation of a terrorist nuclear device.

The report--available in Russian and English--outlines the scenario, observations and findings and recommendations from the exercise. It also includes a paper addressing the legal basis for US-Russian cooperation in response to a nuclear smuggling incident.

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SHANGHAI (Reuters) - The United States and China launched a radiation detection system at a Shanghai port on Wednesday, part of a global effort to halt smuggling of nuclear materials that can be used in bombs.

The equipment, installed in Yangshan, will be able to detect nuclear and other radioactive materials in cargo containers, the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) said in a statement.

"This port demonstrates in a real, significant, symbolic way as well, the commitment of the Chinese government to detecting nuclear material and combating nuclear terrorism," Thomas D'Agostino, administrator of NNSA said in a speech in Shanghai.

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An international group of dignitaries called the Eminent Persons Group met with Korean President Lee Myung-bak Tuesday, November 29 in Seoul and adopted a joint statement (full text below) on how to make the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit a success. The Presidential Office says the group expressed their strong support for the summit and recommended six ways to make it a success:

1. Achieve progress in the 2010 Washington Summit commitments;
2. Devise a workable vision and implementation measures for nuclear security via the Seoul Communiqué;
3. Secure detailed country commitments from summit participants;
4. Restore confidence in nuclear power wrought by Fukushima and actively seek ways to deal with radiological terrorism;
5. Strengthen international and regional cooperation to deal with illegal smuggling of nuclear materials;
6. Maintain momentum by ensuring a 3rd summit.

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WASHINGTON -- Two decades after the fall of the Soviet Union, the threat of a terrorist or criminal organization acquiring and smuggling nuclear or radioactive materials out of Russia or its former states persists, nonproliferation experts familiar with the issue say (see GSN, Sept. 29).

"If we think back to the early 1990s, that was a pretty damn scary time in which we realized the world's largest, WMD-armed empire was collapsing in upon itself ... The threat of terrorist acquisition was at its greatest then," said Brian Finlay, a senior associate at the Henry L. Stimson Center in Washington. Today, "we don't have one giant problem, but we have many, many little problems," he said.

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Editor's note: This is part of a Security Clearance series, Case File. CNN Senior National Security Producer Suzanne Kelly profiles key members of the security and intelligence community.

With potential targets all over the world, business is good for the world's top nuclear detective.

As director of the International Atomic Energy Agency's Nuclear Security Office, Moroccan-born nuclear expert Khammar Mrabit helps nations prevent, detect and respond to the theft of nuclear and other radioactive material. He also helps identify acts of sabotage and monitors the illicit trafficking of such material.

Don't confuse him with the non-proliferation arm of the IAEA, which monitors how countries are using their nuclear materials for peaceful purposes. Mrabit's mission is to keep nuclear and radiological material out of the hands of terrorists.

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