International Conference on Nuclear Security in Vienna
The German government has pressed for the global strengthening of protection against terrorist attacks with nuclear material. “We must not relax our efforts on nuclear security,” said Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Environment Ministry, Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter, at the International Conference on Nuclear Security that began today in Vienna. She stressed that, having broadened the scope of the International Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, the global community must take the next step. “It is now time to establish an internationally binding framework for other radioactive materials” said Schwarzelühr-Sutter.
Germany was an early advocate of enhancing the security of other nuclear materials, putting the issue on the agenda in 2008 at the Global Nuclear Security Summit initiated by US President Barack Obama.
The International Conference on Nuclear Security takes place from 5 to 9 December in Vienna, Austria. The conference begins with a ministerial segment, followed by a scientific and technical programme to start on Tuesday. The political input will directly inform the discussions of the 2,000 participants from more than 80 countries.
The Federal Republic of Germany joined the International Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material on 26 October 1979. In April 2016, an amendment significantly extended the scope and objective of the convention, which previously applied to the protection of nuclear material during transport, to include nuclear facilities as well.
In addition to protecting nuclear material used for peaceful purposes against theft, parties to the convention have now also committed to using their national systems of physical protection of nuclear material against sabotage and to mitigating or minimising the radiological consequences of sabotage. The amendment also expands the catalogue of unlawful acts and the rules on international cooperation.