On 24 and 25 March 2014 the third Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) will take place in The Hague, The Netherlands. It is the biggest summit ever organised in The Netherlands. Nuclear terrorism is one of the greatest threats to international peace and security. Even though the chance of a terrorist nuclear attack is small, the consequences would be enormous. The United States of America wishes to further enhance the security of all nuclear sources in the world within four years. For this reason, the United States hosted the first Nuclear Security Summit in 2010 in Washington. The Nuclear Security Summit aims to enhance international cooperation in order to combat nuclear terrorist threats by preventing the illicit acquisition of nuclear material by non-state actors such as smugglers and terrorist groups.

At the first Nuclear Security Summit, statesmen and representatives of 47 countries were present. At the second Nuclear Security Summit that took place in Seoul, in 2012, 53 heads of state and government and representatives of 4 international organisations were present. In March 2014, even  more officials will attend the NSS in The Hague. There will be 58 world leaders, 5000 delegates and 3000 journalists.

The Nuclear Security Summit deals with nuclear security; not with non-proliferation. Nuclear security is also specifically important for The Netherlands. Schiphol is one of the largest airports in Europe and Rotterdam is the largest European port. Therefore, it is important to reduce the risk of the smuggling of nuclear material through The Netherlands. The NSS is also important for The Netherlands because of the need of protection of the Dutch nuclear industry. The nuclear facility in Petten, The Netherlands, produces 30 % of the world's nuclear isotopes that are used in combating cancer and 60 % of the medical isotopes in Europe. In the field of nuclear forensics, The Netherlands also has an important task. The Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI) has taken the lead in coordinating an integrated international forensic response to nuclear terrorism.

The Nuclear Security Summit will concentrate on six themes:

1. Reducing the use of enriched uranium and plutonium in the world, in other words, reducing the use of fissile materials. Improving nuclear security.

2. Ratification of the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material which still has to enter into force.

3. To Develope a legal framework for the registration, administration and control of radioactive sources.

4. Increasing the frequency of IAEA monitoring, on-site inspections and visits of nuclear installations.

5. Including the nuclear industry but also the scientific and academic world in nuclear security measures and policy.

6. Ensuring the active role of countries in the improvement of their protection of nuclear sources and installations.

During the Summit related events will also take place. There will be a Nuclear Industries Summit and a Nuclear Knowledge Summit.

 

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