The Nuclear Security Summits (NSS) in Washington in 2010 and in Seoul in 2012, and the nuclear expert and industry corollary events organized around these summits, have opened a window of opportunity to develop new strategies and policies for the improvement of global nuclear security. The current nuclear material security regime has improved over the past ten years, but it is still not comprehensive or robust enough to address the evolving challenges of the 21st Century. It also lags behind other regimes for nuclear safeguards, safety, and arms control in terms of its binding requirements and assurances of compliance.
While the summits have taken the important step of establishing global fissile material security as a top-level international objective, a more robust, effective, and flexible twenty-first century nuclear material security architecture will require additional and likely more controversial actions beyond the current international consensus. What is needed is an international nuclear security regime that is more comprehensive, cohesive, and transparent and which emphasizes confirmed performance and accountability by nations to build international confidence.