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Nuclear Security Summit

Volume 542: debated on Tuesday 27 March 2012

Along with the US and France, the UK aims to raise the profile of nuclear security on the international agenda. In the interests of increasing transparency, we have decided to release more information about our own capabilities. This includes our ability to respond to terrorist incidents involving nuclear or radiological material, and to improve international standards for the security of nuclear material.

The following statement will be released today at the nuclear security summit in Seoul:

“The governments of the United States, United Kingdom, and French Republic each understand the threat of nuclear terrorism and share the collective responsibility to inform and strengthen international measures designed to secure sensitive information, technology or nuclear material from access by terrorists and to encourage the development of appropriate emergency response measures. In recognition of these shared principles, consistent with our rights and obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty, our three governments are taking the following initial steps:

[1] INFCIRC/225/Rev.5 recognises that nuclear security protection levels are critically dependent upon the attractiveness of nuclear materials to potential adversaries with intent to assemble a nuclear explosive device. We will actively engage in international workshops to address graded approaches for the characterisation of nuclear material attractiveness to further enhance the effectiveness and sustainability of physical protection measures.

[2] We have the specialised knowledge and capability to diagnose, render safe, characterise and dispose of a nuclear terrorist threat device. We each have a focused effort to continually enhance the technical capabilities of our emergency detection and response assets to any such threat. As such we will seek, wherever possible, to engage with the international community to further strengthen worldwide preparedness to contend with the threat of nuclear terrorism.”