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The Nuclear Security Summit 2014: challenges and opportunities [WP1226]


In 2014 the Netherlands will host the third Nuclear Security Summit, after the Summits in Washington (2010) and Seoul (2012).

In partnership with the Clingendael Institute, we worked with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to run an off record invitation only expert meeting, at which participants will discuss the main challenges and opportunities for the Summit.

By identifying potential difficulties and exploring possible solutions well before the Summit starts, this expert meeting contributed to a more efficient and successful negotiating process before the Summit, thus enabling a successful outcome of the NSS.

Key points taken from the conference were:

  • The NSS process has made clear and measurable progress on securing nuclear materials since its inception. However, some objectives (nuclear security improvements, reactor conversions, removals of nuclear material) will not be completed during the four-year effort.
  • Priorities for the period leading up to the 2014 Summit are: strengthening the legal dimension; limiting the use of highly-enriched uranium (HEU) and plutonium; strengthening the interface between government and industry; strengthening the regime for radiological sources; developing the concept of assurances in nuclear security; and developing the nuclear security architecture on a technical and political level.
  • There are two key factors that will determine whether the 2014 Summit will be the last. First, the balance of leadership; and second whether the developments have been sufficiently boosted by the three Summits so far.

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