Posted by: keithrey | July 9, 2009

Global Initiative To Combat Nuclear Terrorism Seeks To Expand Civilian Involvement To Address Nuclear Terrorism Threat

President Obama has presented a three-part strategy to address the international nuclear threat: 1) proposing measures to reduce and eventually eliminate existing nuclear arsenals; 2) strengthening the Non-proliferation Treaty and halting proliferation of nuclear weapons to additional states; and 3) preventing terrorists from acquiring nuclear weapons or materials.

On July 8th 2009 the G8 leaders endorsed that strategy and released a statement expanding on that strategy. Notably, the statement recognizes and pledges to support further the work of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism.

The Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism is missioned to “build collective and individual capacity to combat the global threat of nuclear terrorism.” One of the underlying themes of the group is the broader involvement of civil society, and in particular the relevant business sectors, to assist in the combat against nuclear terrorism.

The initiative’s Statement of Principles are:

  • improve accounting of and security on radioactive and nuclear materials;
  • enhance security at civilian nuclear facilities;
  • improve detection of nuclear and radioactive materials to prevent illicit trafficking;
  • improve capabilities to search and confiscate unlawfully held nuclear or radioactive substances or devices using them;
  • leverage response, mitigation, and investigation capabilities in case of a terrorist attack;
  • develop technical means to identify nuclear or other radioactive materials and substances that are or may be involved in a terrorist incident;
  • prevent the provision of safe haven to terrorists and financial or economic resources to terrorists seeking to acquire or use nuclear or radioactive materials;
  • improve national legal and regulatory frameworks to ensure appropriate criminal and civil liability for terrorists who commit acts of nuclear terrorism; and
  • promote greater information sharing pertaining to acts of nuclear terrorism.

Previously, on June 16, 2009, Partners of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism met in The Hague, Netherlands, to discuss “enhancing international partnerships by sharing best practices.” All acknowledged that the potential for a terrorist act involving nuclear or radiological materials is a major threat that the international community continues to face, and that this voluntary Initiative fills an important niche in bringing all levels of government, international organizations, and private sector entities together to confront this challenge.

For 2009-2010, partners will facilitate capacity-building the functional areas described in the Statement of Principles, including developing and improving accounting, control, and physical protection systems for nuclear and other radioactive materials; and enhancing security of civilian nuclear facilities; as well as strengthening operational detection and forensics capabilities.

Global Initiative partners agreed to continue outreach efforts to further expand participation in key regions around the world. In 2009 meeting partner countries advocated “promoting greater involvement of civil society and in particular the relevant business sector.” This is opens the door for innovative approaches for the radiation control industry to consider. It certainly opens the dialog for an open systems approach to radiation security.

IP Radiation Security fits into the initiative’s framework though it is a “disruptive technology.” The concept offers a means to better defend against terrorist attacks by making radiation detection ubiquitous and cost effective. Commercial off the shelf (COTS) components that are IP can be installed on security networks by local systems integrators because the parts are standards-based.

IP  radiation detection technologies enable the interface of sensors to security management systems, thereby lowering the cost of securing facilities and improving the procedural response to unwanted radiological events.

Bottom line: this means more protection for less money.

Might this be the intended result when the Global Initiative partners advocate for “involvement of civil society and in particular the relevant business sector?”

Nuclear security in today’s age of terrorism requires global
participation, not just by national governments, but also by
police forces, border guards, cities, communities, harbors,
research institutes, and factories.”

Ambassador Linton Brooks
National Nuclear Security Administration
16 March 2005


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: