ISIS criticises proliferation control

29 April 1999

The Institute for Science and International Security has issued a report highly critical of international efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation. The report, titled The Challenges of Fissile Material Control, identifies 19 separate policy objectives and awards grades between A and F. Only five objectives received B grades or higher, with six receiving D to F grades. Overall international efforts received a C grade; a pass, but nothing better.

“This report shows that despite progress so far, the world is far from secure from the dangers posed by plutonium and HEU,” said the report’s editors, David Albright and Kevin O’Neill.

Of greatest concern are leaks from Russia and Iraq’s efforts to establish a weapons programme. The report concludes that international commitments and treaties are insufficient, but it also praises efforts to negotiate a fissile material cutoff treaty and to strengthen International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards.

The disposition of surplus plutonium only received a mark of D+. Both MOX and immobilisation options “face serious technical, economic and political obstacles”, says the report.

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