Michelle Cann: Nuclear Security in Five Words

Michelle Cann of the Partnership for Global Security has written a great article about the 5 Priorities on Nuclear Security Matters, a blog from the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School:

A new YouTube video, released ahead of a government planning meeting for the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit, charges that stronger nuclear security can be as simple as five words.  These five words are the 5 Priorities, a concept born in 2014 when a diverse group of nuclear security experts identified the most impactful policy changes that could advance global nuclear security. After rallying supporters and polishing their ideas, the 5 Priorities effort was launched to garner the attention of world leaders and help the broader public understand how the decisions made at the 2016 summit will impact them.

Nuclear security has never been an issue to ignite heated kitchen table debates at Thanksgiving, but the 5 Priorities for Global Nuclear Security campaign aims to make more people understand why they should care how the issue is being handled. The 5 Priorities are objective; they are not ideologically aligned as either “pro” or “anti” nuclear. Instead, they focus on the practical reality that as long as radioactive materials and technologies exist, they should be as safe and secure as possible.

5 Priorities supporters want the public to understand that radioactive materials are not only sequestered away in secluded military complexes or in remote locations in the snow drifts of Siberia. They are used every day, all around the world in medicine, research, and energy production. Nuclear power plants in 30 countries provide more than 10 percent of the world’s electricity production, and more than 60 new reactors are currently under construction in 15 countries. The majority of nuclear materials resides nuclear weapons programs, but the civil sector has accumulated stockpiles of separated plutonium that exceed 230 metric tons and more than 60 metric tons of highly-enriched uranium (HEU). That is enough material to make thousands of nuclear weapons.  Ensuring that these materials remain secure is critical for the normal functioning of daily life.

Click here to read the whole article, and make sure to share it with your friends, family, and colleagues using the hashtag #5Priorities.