Arms Control and Disarmament Programme: completed projects

Pilot: Illicit trafficking of nuclear and other radioactive material (2010-12) 

Funder

UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (SPF 56)

Project updates

  • 30/09/2010: Project start date.
  • 06/02/2011: First workshop held in Vienna, Austria.
  • 13/07/2011: Drafting of report commenced.
  • 14/07/2011: Workshop report from first meeting completed.
  • 22/12/2011: Draft report released to project partners for comment. 
  • 22/03/2012: Second workshop held in London.
  • 12/04/2012: Second workshop report released to project partners.
  • 08/05/2012: Final report 'Illicit Trafficking of Nuclear and other Radioactive Material: The Legislative Response' published.
  • 08/05/2012: Report to funder submitted. 
  • 11/09/2012: Project archived.

Background

The trafficking of nuclear or other radioactive material is considered by many to be an emerging but concrete threat to international peace and security. In 2007, an international conference convened by the IAEA established broad consensus that ‘terrorist groups have the intention of attempting to acquire and use nuclear or radioactive material for malicious acts’. Further, the conference found a ‘strong sense that the possibility of an attempt is real’. At present, the international legal regime governing the illicit trafficking of nuclear and other radioactive material is contained in several instruments.

These instruments include, but are not limited to:

  • The 2005 International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism;
  • The 1979 Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material;
  • UN Security Council Resolution 1540;
  • The IAEA Code of Conduct for the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources; and
  • IAEA Safeguards Agreements and associated export controls.

This project aims to develop a joined-up and sustainable legal strategy, on the international level, to combat the illicit trafficking of nuclear and other radioactive material.

Key activities

  • First workshop (February 2011);
  • Workshop report (July 2011);
  • A VERTIC draft report on the legal framework addressing illicit trafficking (December 2011);
  • Second workshop (March 2012); 
  • Second workshop report (April 2012); and
  • Release of final report on the legal framework addressing illicit trafficking (May 2012).

Resources

 

'Illicit Trafficking of Nuclear and other Radioactive Material: The Legislative Response'

Supporting the CTBT’s provisional entry into force through communicating the readiness of the CTBTO and the verification regime (2010-12)

 

Funders

  • Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Ploughshares Foundation

Project updates

  • 17/06/2010: all papers submitted and under review;
  • 18/06/2010: OP 3 and 4 now sent for layout;
  • 24/06/2010: OP 3 released;
  • 14/07/2010: OP 4 scheduled for release on 16/07/2010;
  • 16/07/2010: OP 4 released;
  • 26/08/2010: OP 5 cancelled;
  • 28/04/2011: Presentation to the 2011 Carnegie Nuclear Policy Conference;
  • 30/04/2011: BASIC-VERTIC meeting in the US Senate;
  • 01/08/2011: OP 5 re-commissioned;
  • 28/10/2011: OP 5 released as VERTIC Brief 16;
  • 15-16/11/2011: Participation in CTBTO/Turkish government cross-regional workshop on the 'Role of the CTBT in Regional and Global Security', Istanbul, Turkey;
  • 20/11/2011: Preparations begun for 2012 VERTIC seminar on CTBT verification;
  • 02/03/2012: Final seminar held at the EastWest Institute in New York;
  • 01/04/2012: Report back to funder.
  • 11/09/2012: Project archived.

Background

In recent years the US president, Barack Obama, has pledged to push for his country to ratify the CTBT, but there are still major uncertainties relating to the timing and outcome of a Senate vote. The treaty’s verifiability will resurface as a major point in the discussion. This project aims to clearly transmit information on the effectiveness of the verification regime of the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty to key decision makers in the United States, and other States.

We intend to use our standing in the CTBT community to bring European and to some extent CTBTO experts to the United States for a series of seminars and informal briefings.

To support our work, we also intend to commission and publish a series of short and accessible briefing papers on the CTBT verification regime. These will be written by notable personalities, preferably with neutral or bipartisan credentials. The papers are short (no more than two pages), persuasive, and precise.

Key activities

  • Consultation in the United States, late 2009 (completed)
  • Paper series, 2009-2011 (completed)
  • Consultation in the United States, mid-2010 (completed)
  • Seminars (Washington DC and New York), mid-2010 (completed)
  • Final project seminar, New York, March 2012 (completed)

Resources

Pilot: Working towards Additional Protocol universalization (2011-12)

 

Funder

UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (SPF 142)
 

Project updates

  • 15/07/2011: Project start date (six month pilot).
  • 22/07/2011: Pilot phase parameters decided (two regions: Africa and South Asia).
  • 29/07/2011: Country research commenced.
  • 22/08/2011: Country outreached commenced.
  • 19/09/2011: Consultations with governments and other assistance providers during the IAEA General Conference.
  • 19/10/2011: Summary report and individual country reports completed.
  • 02/02/2011: Report back to funder. Awaiting continuation grant.
  • 14/05/2012: Project archived.

Background

The aim of this project is to build support for new ratifications of the IAEA's Additional Protocol to the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement. The project builds on and complements the work of the VERTIC National Implementation Measures programme, which provides assistance to states in developing national legislation in conformity with international law and other arms control agreements.
 
This project, should it move beyond its pilot phase, also aims to develop a publicly-available ratification and implementation package, in several languages and consistent with IAEA guidance and methodology, for states wishing to accede to and then implement the Additional Protocol.