Partnership for Global Security

How do you solve a problem like plutonium?

Fissile Materials Working Group

Four years ago in Prague, President Barack Obama focused the world’s attention on a “strange turn of history:” Even as the danger of global nuclear war has lessened, the threat we face from nuclear materials is greater than ever, because of international terrorist networks, a global black market trade, and the spread of technology that could help build a bomb.

Through the Nuclear Security Summit process initiated in 2010, countries have started securing some of the most vulnerable materials. But they have largely left plutonium untouched. As Obama warned in a later speech, this time on the margins of the 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit, “We know that just the smallest amount of plutonium — about the size of an apple — could kill hundreds of thousands and spark a global crisis.”

Read more at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists(PDF)