Partnership for Global Security

Nuclear Security: Seoul, the Netherlands, and Beyond

Kenneth N. Luongo and Michelle Cann

The 2014 Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) in the Netherlands will be the third in a series of heads-of-state summits to prevent nuclear terrorism by strengthening global nuclear security. At the first summit in Washington in 2010, leaders endorsed a four-year international effort to secure all vulnerable nuclear material worldwide. At the second summit in Seoul in 2012, leaders expanded their focus beyond protecting fissile materials to include radioactive source security and the safety and security interface at nuclear facilities. This broader definition of the nuclear security agenda provides a stable foundation for the 2014 summit to build upon.

The Netherlands summit will be the third NSS with a fourth scheduled for Washington in 2016. The agenda for 2014 has not yet been set, but participants can be expected to review the progress made since past summits and evaluate what more needs to be accomplished. NSS participants will also have the opportunity to announce a long-term vision for the nuclear security regime. This could lead to the streamlining of existing initiatives, which could provide the political impetus to unlock further progress. It is not yet known what a successor process for the NSS will look like beyond the final summit in 2016.

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