NUCLEAR SECURITY SUMMIT
The Netherlands hosts the third Nuclear Security Summit, new nuclear deals announced
AP – March 23, 2014
With the crisis in Ukraine looming in the background, world leaders are meeting in the Hague to discuss nuclear security at the third iteration of the Nuclear Security Summit, an initiative pushed by President Obama since early in his first term. Delegations from 53 countries will be in attendance at a summit dedicated primarily to the issue of nuclear terrorism. Japan has announced its intention to transfer about 300 kilograms of plutonium and 200 kilograms of highly enriched uranium, enough for 50 nuclear weapons, to the United States for disposal. The White House issued a press release stating that it had worked with Italy to remove 20 kilograms of plutonium and highly enriched uranium. Belgium similarly announced the removal of a “significant amount” of its excess nuclear material under the terms of an agreement reached at the last summit. One of the most important issues facing those at the summit, however, may be the need for a more permanent fixture through which nuclear security may be enhanced.
US, Russia arms control cooperation continues amid tensions over Ukraine
Karen DeYoung, The Washington Post – March 21, 2014
In case there was any doubt that the United States and Russia could continue arms control cooperation even as each side continues to slap sanctions on the other, a group of Russian inspectors visited a US nuclear site last week in accordance with the terms of the New START Treaty.
More US, Russia cooperation, this time on Iran
Global Security Newswire – March 21, 2014
Iran’s nuclear facility at Arak has been the source of much frustration in the ongoing P5 + 1 negotiations. Once online, the reactor will be able to produce plutonium that could be diverted to a nuclear weapons program. The P5 + 1 have thus called for Iran to scrap or modify the reactor in such a way that will ease those concerns. Iran has signaled its willingness to do so, but it has repeatedly suggested that it will deal with those concerns on its own time. Russia recently spoke out in favor of modifying the Arak reactor, adding to the weight of the P5 + 1’s concern on the issue.