Nuclear Security Summit 2016 Under Way in Nation's Capital

The security summit is focused on managing cyber threats and securing the use, storage, and transport of radiological and nuclear materials; it is the fourth in the series, following the inaugural summit in Washington in 2010, the second in Seoul in 2012, and the third in The Hague in 2014.

The Nuclear Security Summit 2016, the final one during Barack Obama's presidency, is a March 31-April 1 event taking place in Washington, D.C., that is a forum for international leaders to discuss securing nuclear materials. Among the participants is International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano, who gave a keynote address March 30 at a side event in the city, the Nuclear Industry Summit, in which he highlighted IAEA's role in supporting international efforts against the threat of nuclear terrorism.

The security summit is focused on managing cyber threats and securing the use, storage, and transport of radiological and nuclear materials; it is the fourth in the series, following the inaugural summit in Washington in 2010, the second in Seoul in 2012, and the third in The Hague in 2014.

"We provide guidance covering key aspects of nuclear security. We help to make borders more secure by installing radiation monitors at ports and border crossings. We help countries to improve physical protection at nuclear installations and hospitals, so that radioactive material is not stolen. We provide training and equipment to law enforcement personnel to help them identify and intercept illicit trafficking in nuclear and other radioactive material," Amano said, adding that the nuclear industry has not been immune to cyber attacks: "There have been cases of random malware-based attacks at nuclear power plants, and of such facilities being specifically targeted. The IAEA continues to do what it can to help governments, organizations, and individuals adapt to evolving technology-driven threats from determined cyber adversaries."

President Obama is hosting the security summit. According to a summit-related State Department fact sheet, accomplishments in material minimization since 2009 include the removal or disposition of more than 3.8 metric tons of foreign material by the United States and its partners (enough for more than 150 nuclear weapons) and more than 29 metric tons of U.S. surplus highly enriched uranium (HEU) that the United States has down-blended (enough for more than 1,100 nuclear weapons), with about 138 metric tons of Russian weapons-origin HEU that U.S. experts confirmed was permanently eliminated under the HEU Purchase Agreement (enough for more than 5,500 nuclear weapons).

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