Leaders of nations must put aside their own self ambitions to come together on comprehensive world nuclear security, experts say
DALLAS (April 14, 2014) – The Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) for heads of state held in The Hague end of last month was missing one very important leader in Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Putin stayed out, currently being an international pariah for his adventures in Ukraine. But that can well be a problem since Russia’s stockpile of weapons grade plutonium left over from the Cold War is still a concern for summit leaders. The day before NSS convened, another world summit opened in Amsterdam where over 200 CEO level people from the nuclear industry worldwide discussed their own nuclear security. Known as the Nuclear Industry Summit (NIS), it aided and supported NSS in The Hague.
“I think one of the main aims in the summit process is to use the amount of nuclear material of potential interest to terrorists,” says Anno Keizer, chairman of NIS 2014, “highly enriched uranium and plutonium, the less we have of that the better. So using plutonium in fuel in nuclear power plants is one of the very, very good developments. It uses the amount of sensitive material that is around.”
Keizer is also head of group security at URENCO Ltd. supplying non-weapons grade nuclear fuel to 150 power plants worldwide. Keizer spoke by phone from URENCO’s Amsterdam office on the ScienceNews Radio Network program Promise of Tomorrow with Colonel Mason. The broadcast originates in Dallas, Texas, and then can be heard webcast for its world audience at www.PromiseOfTomorrow.biz.
When Mason pressed Keizer on how they are protecting all this dangerous material, Keizer responded “I’m well aware that you will appreciate it that we don’t share details, certainly not on a radio broadcast, but the basic principles can be discussed. These are hard targets that must be well protected. You will see a lot of layering in defense. It is a very important thing to ensure the good practices that we have in one country are also known and used in other countries, and that is something we should do more in the security field.”
Keizer also said this summit was very different from the last ones, “there’s much more focus on the cyber domain and assessment of the threats they are,” referring to the Stuxnet worm that attacked Iran’s nuclear works a few years ago.
The next NSS is two years away and will be held in the US, but closer is the IEEE Homeland Security Technology conference which will return to Boston April 14 – 16 next year. More on that conference to come.