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Nuclear Security Summit, a start, but limited

What the summit did not address in any detail was the likelier and more easily achievable possibility that a terrorist organisation might obtain highly radioactive material and attach it to a conventional, crudely made dirty bomb that could still spread lethal material over a wide area.

World takes aim at nukes  , THE AUSTRALIAN,  Brad Norington,   April 16, 2010 Obama’s plan, endorsed at the summit by all attending countries including Australia, is to conduct an enormous accounting exercise with the objective of securing all nuclear materials across the world during the next four years.A 12-point communique not only affirmed the responsibility of countries to maintain security of nuclear materials under their control. It also agreed to the goal of stopping “non-state actors” from obtaining the information or technology required to use nuclear materials for malicious purposes……

A further nuclear security summit has been scheduled for Seoul in 2012 to check progress.

If Obama succeeds in prompting a large-scale lockdown of nuclear materials, this week’s summit could turn out to be significant moment in redefining the global order and combating the scourge of terrorism in the modern age……

There are weaknesses, however, in the commitments given by nations this week.

Chief among them, apart from the ambitious four-year timeframe, is the lack of anything legally binding or a regime of enforcement.

Obama acknowledged at a media conference at the summit’s end that the agreement was voluntary and its success would depend on goodwill…..

As evidence of likely success, he singled out Ukraine, Chile and Mexico for their willingness to give up their entire stockpiles of highly enriched uranium, and Canada for giving up a significant portion.

Other nations, such as Pakistan and Argentina, agreed to measures to prevent nuclear smuggling and strengthen port security.

Russia used the occasion to announce it would close its last weapons-grade plutonium production reactor.

The US and Russia signed an agreement for each to eliminate about 70 tonnes of plutonium or enough for 17,000 nuclear weapons…..

Obama focused the attention of countries on securing materials that could be used by al-Qa’ida to construct a nuclear weapon.

What the summit did not address in any detail was the likelier and more easily achievable possibility that a terrorist organisation might obtain highly radioactive material and attach it to a conventional, crudely made dirty bomb that could still spread lethal material over a wide area.

In hindsight, events manipulated by the Obama White House in the lead-up to the summit look very much timed to encourage other nations to think seriously about their contributions to making the world a safer place. That was as far as it went. World takes aim at nukes | The Australian

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April 16, 2010 - Posted by | 1, general | , , , , , , , ,

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