A lingering nuclear threat via The Washington Post

The potential threat is clear. Much has been done to reduce nuclear weapons stockpiles and materials over the past 25 years, but hazards remain from highly enriched uranium and plutonium spread around the globe. Some 1,800 metric tons of weapons-useable material is stored in hundreds of facilities, including civilian research reactors and military stocks.

Starting in 2010, President Obama cast a spotlight on the problem with international summits at which leaders were pressed to act, including the cleanup of materials that could be used for building a so-called “dirty bomb,” a conventional explosive combined with nuclear materials that, while not a nuclear blast, would nonetheless cause considerable mayhem and disruption. In 2010, when the summits began in Washington, 35 nations had weapons-usable materials; three summits and six years later, it is down to 24.


A detailed index published by the Nuclear Threat Initiative shows tangible progress was achieved between 2012 and 2014, but since then efforts have stalled, due to political issues that have diverted attention, bureaucratic inertia, lack of resources and cultural factors. None of these are going away any time soon.

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