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Appendix E Joint Statement by the Presidents of the U.S. National Academies and the Russian Academy of Sciences, February 2, 2002 PREVENTING THE PROLIFERATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND NUCLEAR MATERIALS Nuclear weapons or nuclear materials that could be used to develop nuclear weapons or radiological devices must not fall into the hands of ter- rorists or states with hostile intentions. The United States of America and the Russian Federation, as the nations with the largest nuclear-weapon com- plexes and the custodians of the largest inventories of nuclear weapons and materials of all types, share a special responsibility for preventing unautho- rized access to these weapons and materials. A decade ago, the governments of the United States and Russia recog- nized the importance of cooperative efforts to help ensure that nuclear weap- ons and weapons-grade nuclear materials in the former Soviet Union were adequately protected from theft or diversion. The decision to act came at a time when an economic crisis had seriously reduced the resources available for maintaining security systems and personnel at nuclear facilities. As a result of U.S.-Russian cooperative efforts, thousands of nuclear warheads and hundreds of tons of weapons-grade nuclear material are now better protected. But much remains to be done to place all nuclear weapons and materials under adequate protection. With clear indications that terrorist organizations are seeking nuclear and radiological weapons, cooperative efforts to deny them this option must 122
APPENDIX E 123 be accelerated. These efforts should include plans for the ultimate disposi- tion of the plutonium and highly enriched uranium made surplus by the downsizing of the U.S. and Russian arsenals. The Academies are encouraged by the recent actions of President Bush and the U.S. Congress to restore funding and a high priority to the joint activities in this domain. They provide the basis for the Russian and Ameri- can governments to accelerate their cooperative programs to ensure adequate security of all nuclear weapons and weapons-grade material throughout Russia. We urge the two governments to move forward rapidly. The world has not yet given adequate attention to the dangers of mis- use of radioactive sources, spent nuclear fuel, and radioactive waste to make radiological devices. New cooperative activities between the two govern- ments are needed to address these issuesâin the United States, in Russia, and throughout the world. In order to assist their respective governments in all of these efforts, the National Academies and the Russian Academy of Sciences will prepare dur- ing the next six months an assessment of the immediate steps that should be taken to upgrade the two governmentsâ collaborative efforts in this domain. Working together, the Academies will develop an agenda for long-term U.S.- Russian cooperation to reduce the risks from nuclear weapons or materials falling into the hands of terrorists or states with hostile intentions. This will include continuing interacademy attention to problems that may arise and how they can be overcome, such as problems associated with access to sensitive facilities. The following interacademy activities related to this as- sessment and agenda-setting work are already under way or will soon be initiated to provide more detailed insights and recommendations for con- sideration by the two governments. â¢ A new project will examine how Russia can develop an effective indigenous, sustainable nuclear materials protection, control, and account- ing system. This effort will help the Russian nuclear institutions make the transition for the eventual termination of U.S. financial support of these efforts and it will help the Russian government develop the necessary nuclear legal and regulatory framework and practices. â¢ An assessment of end points for disposition of high-level nuclear waste is currently under way that pays particular attention to the physical protection of spent fuel and high-level radioactive waste in the United States and Russia.
124 APPENDIX E â¢ A new assessment will examine ways in which U.S.-Russian coop- eration on strategies for the ultimate disposition of weapons plutonium and highly enriched uranium can be reinvigorated and enhanced. â¢ A new project will identify the potential for misuse of radioactive sources available widely throughout industry, medical facilities, and research organizations in the United States, Russia, and other countries. These joint activities will continue the long-standing cooperation be- tween the Russian Academy of Science and the National Academies in sup- port of their governmentsâ efforts to respond to urgent international secu- rity problems. The Russian Academy of Sciences and the National Academies call on the national academies of sciences of all countries possessing nuclear weap- ons or using radiological materials to cooperate with them in this most important sphere of national and international security.