EDITORIAL: Reinforced Management of Nuclear Materials Needed to Prevent Terrorismmaterials Needed to Prevent Terrorism

The Daily Yomiuri (Toyko, Japan), March 28, 2014 | Go to article overview

EDITORIAL: Reinforced Management of Nuclear Materials Needed to Prevent Terrorismmaterials Needed to Prevent Terrorism


In confronting the threat of nuclear terrorism, it is essential for countries to cooperate to thoroughly manage nuclear materials.

The Nuclear Security Summit, attended by leaders of over 50 countries, including major industrial nations and emerging economies, was held in The Hague, and the leaders adopted a joint communique.

The joint communique places the highest priority on preventing nuclear materials from being acquired by terrorists. It urges countries to accept the guidance mapped out by the International Atomic Energy Agency concerning the protection of their nuclear materials and facilities.

According to the IAEA, in 2013 alone there were 146 cases in which nuclear materials or other radioactive materials were traded illegally, stolen or lost. As we cannot deny the possibility of nuclear terrorism, countries concerned must take effective measures in line with the IAEA guidance.

It is also important that the communique encourages countries to minimize their stocks of highly enriched uranium (HEU) and of separated plutonium, both of which can be used in nuclear weapons. This call is aimed at getting countries to hold down their stockpile of such materials and prevent nuclear materials from going into the hands of terrorists.

Any excess nuclear materials should be transported out of those countries and placed under the control of such nations as the United States, which is capable of disposing of such material responsibly.

In line with the purport of the communique, Italy, Belgium, South Korea and other countries have expressed their willingness to remove unnecessary plutonium and HEU from their countries.

Abe demonstrates resolve

Japan, for its part, has announced a bilateral agreement with the United States under which it will remove several hundred kilograms of HEU and plutonium used for the fast critical assembly at the Japan Atomic Energy Agency and hand them over to the United States. …

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