15 Jan (NucNet): The global nuclear security system still has “major gaps” that prevent it from being truly comprehensive and effective, the Washington-based Nuclear Threat Initiative says in its 2016 Index.
The index, which assesses nuclear materials security conditions in 24 countries with one kilogramme or more of weapons-usable nuclear materials, says there is no common set of international standards and best practices, there is no mechanism for holding states with lax security accountable, and the legal foundation for securing nuclear materials is neither complete nor universally observed.
In addition to assessing the risks posed by vulnerable nuclear materials and insufficient security policies in states that don’t have materials, the index assesses for the first time the potential risks to nuclear facilities posed by sabotage and cyberattack. It says cyberattacks are increasing and a growing number of states are exploring nuclear energy even though they lack the legal, regulatory, and security frameworks to ensure that their facilities are secure as well as safe.
The NTI is a non-profit organisation. It has received funding from individual American philanthropists, including Warren Buffett and Ted Turner, and support from foundations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation. The index is online: http://www.ntiindex.org