Nuclear Weapons | Readout and Recommendations

Improved Nuclear Security Through Effective Information Sharing

March 2016


The need to share nuclear security-related information while maintaining the confidentiality of its sensitive dimensions has been identified as an issue of paramount importance within the Nuclear Security Summit process as well as beyond it. In order to identify additional opportunities for sharing nuclear security-related information that would build confidence among nuclear security stakeholders, a roundtable of experts and policymakers was convened at the Airlie Center outside Washington, DC, as part of the Stanley Center’s 56th annual Strategy for Peace Conference held October 14-16, 2015.

Titled “Nuclear Security and Information Sharing,” the roundtable identified providers and recipients of nuclear security information at the facility, national, and international levels, and considered what kinds of nuclear security-related information are relevant to each group. Roundtable participants also discussed the differences in sharing information during normal circumstances versus in emergency situations and how increased, ongoing, and sustained information exchange may strengthen security regimes nationally, regionally, and internationally. As a practical example, the group also examined the flow of information gleaned from International Physical Protection Advisory Service missions carried out by the International Atomic Energy Agency and how it can best be leveraged to improve confidence.

Roundtable participants also developed a matrix of nuclear security information that outlines categories, recipients, confidentiality, and the value of information. The main goal of the matrix is to identify information that can be shared freely, thereby contributing to strengthening and building confidence about effective nuclear security.

This policy dialogue brief, along with the accompanying matrix, presents the key themes of the discussion and offers the recommendations of roundtable participants.