Few tasks could be more important than keeping nuclear weapons and their essential ingredients out of terrorist hands. The world community has made substantial progress in improving security for such stocks since the early 1990s, including through the nuclear security summits in 2010-2016. Since the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit, countries have continued to take measurable steps to improve nuclear security, from requiring protections against cyber attacks to launching programs to strengthen security culture in nuclear organizations. But momentum is slowing, raising serious doubts as to whether national leaders are fulfilling their commitment to continue to make nuclear security a priority. High-level political attention to nuclear security and overcoming obstacles has largely faded, international mechanisms for fostering nuclear security action and cooperation have not managed to fill the gap created by the absence of nuclear security summits, and political disputes continue to impede efforts to sustain or expand cooperation in crucial areas. At the same time, stockpiles of nuclear weapons and materials in unstable regions continue to grow and to shift in directions that increase risks. Terrorist threats and important nuclear security weaknesses exist that must be addressed. Additionally, rapidly evolving technologies such as cyber and drones could increase adversary threats to nuclear facilities and stocks in the years to come. If nuclear security improvements do not keep pace, the risk of nuclear terrorism is likely to grow.
Belfer Center 30th Jan 2019 read more »
The Hill 29th Jan 2019 read more »