By Kübra Türk
As the website TheNuclearSecuritySummit.org examines, the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit is important due to its being the largest summit in the security field to discuss the cooperative fight against the threat of nuclear terrorism, the prevention of illicit trafficking of nuclear materials and the protection of nuclear materials and facilities. It is underlined that the possibility of nuclear terrorism became a real threat after the attacks of September 11. Thereby, according to the website, international cooperation is crucial whereas it is no longer possible to address such an issue through a single nation.
This summit, participated in by nearly sixty world leaders and being the second such event after the Nuclear Security Summit in April 2010, addressed the necessity of increasing nuclear security for preventing nuclear materials from being used by terrorists. In the summit, the meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant was also referred to by a warning on how a facility became a serious hazard. In this regard, Foster Klug and Christopher Bodeen warn that “the nightmare scenario of a terrorist exploding a nuclear bomb in a major city isn’t necessarily the far-fetched stuff of movies.”
Moreover, the writers also cited a Washington-based nonproliferation group, The Nuclear Threat Initiative, which indicated that 32 countries have weapons-grade nuclear material in a January report. Among these countries, countries such as Russia and other former Soviet republics have tried to secure their stocks due to the rising “fears of ‘loose nukes’ falling into the hands of terrorist groups.”
More importantly, after the summit, it remains a question as to how nations will execute the securing of nuclear material by 2014. In addition, as Micah Zenko stated, lasting and effective nuclear security is not a one-time pledge, but constitutes an ongoing process and will only end with the total abolition of all weapons-grade material.