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Preventing Nuclear Terrorism: Addressing Policy Gaps and Challenges

Part of the Terrorism, Security, and Computation book series (TESECO)


Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, there has been an intensified global effort to keep nuclear materials and weapons out of the hands of terrorists and non-state actors. This began with the creation and subsequent significant expansion of the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, further intensifying after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. President Obama provided a special focus on this issue through the creation of the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) process, resulting in four heads-of-state meetings. However, the NSS process did not address many of the difficult questions that could significantly strengthen nuclear security and constructed a weak bridge to future improvements. With the conclusion of the summits, the political momentum created by them is rapidly decreasing and the issue is settling back into the bureaucratic channels. The challenge now is how best to address the nuclear policy gaps and new threat challenges in a post-summit environment.


  • Nuclear security
  • Nuclear security governance
  • Nuclear and radiological terrorism
  • Nuclear security summits
  • Cooperative threat reduction efforts
  • HEU and plutonium minimization and removal
  • INFCIRC/869
  • 5 Priorities

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-62108-1_11
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To Grecia Cosio, Research Associate at the Partnership for Global Security, for her significant research and contributions to this paper.

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Correspondence to Kenneth Luongo .

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Luongo, K. (2017). Preventing Nuclear Terrorism: Addressing Policy Gaps and Challenges. In: Martellini, M., Malizia, A. (eds) Cyber and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives Challenges. Terrorism, Security, and Computation. Springer, Cham.

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  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-62107-4

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