Nuclear Weapons | Report

Promoting Greater Transparency for Effective Nuclear Security

February 2013

Summary Report & Initial Policy Recommendations from the Nuclear Security Governance Experts Group


The security of nuclear material is considered to be a national responsibility, however, nations generally limit sharing information regarding their security practices and capabilities. This focus on sovereignty increasingly conflicts with the international responsibility to protect the global community from the unauthorized release of radiation and its consequences. The current nuclear security regime does not adequately account for the cross-border implications of theft or use of a radiological dispersion device or improvised nuclear device.

Under the current system, nuclear security is not globally uniform. There is no specific obligation to implement any recommended international standards, and there is no requirement to share information with other nations though several international agreements encourage these actions. This creates significant challenges in assessing the adequacy of global nuclear security and complicates efforts to minimize potential vulnerabilities. The lack of transparency, in particular, allows weak links in the international nuclear security system to remain potential targets for exploitation by terrorists or other actors.

From the Nuclear Security Governance Experts Group (NSGEG) September 2012 Workshop on Building Transparency in Nuclear Security, this report provides initial policy recommendations on how existing structures can be used to make the system more effective and transparent, incentivizing transparency in the nuclear industry, protecting information in a more transparent environment, and closing the communication gaps among stakeholders.