From the Field: South Korea for Fissile Material Control

bl_seoul_oct2011I just returned from a day-long conference in Seoul, South Korea, on fissile material control. The meeting was organized to address the challenges of nuclear nonproliferation in preparation for the second Nuclear Security Summit in 2012 and hosted by two Korean think-tanks -- KINAC (Korea Institute for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Control) and IFANS (Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security) -- with the FMWG (Fissile Material Working Group), of which Global Green USA is a founding member. At the first Nuclear Security Summit in April 2010 in Washington, D.C., hosted by U.S. President Barack Obama and attended by 46 other countries with nuclear weapons and/or nuclear power capabilities, plans to organize a second summit in Seoul, South Korea were made. The new dates announced at this meeting are March 26-27, 2012 for more than 50 heads of state to discuss how best to lock down all weapons-grade uranium and plutonium in the next few years. We will also organize a complementary NGO summit -- an experts' meeting -- to discuss these issues more publicly amongst civil society and press on March 23, 2012. And there will also be an industry meeting, similar to 2010's meeting in Washington, D.C.

Perhaps most interesting at the Seoul meetings will be discussions of the relationship of nuclear power (especially in the post-Fukushima era) to nuclear safety and security, and the need to control non-weapons-grade nuclear materials, including spent nuclear fuel and radioactive sources. Also of interest is the fact that this 2012 summit will take place in a non-nuclear weapons country, but next to a nuclear power -- North Korea. The experts meeting next March will include some 200 nonproliferation experts from around the world. For additional information, visit the FMWG website.