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States Meet to Strengthen Protection of Nuclear Material

David Waller

David Waller addressing delegates at the conference. (Photo credit: D. Calma/IAEA) View Photo Gallery...

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Hundreds of delegates from some 80 countries opened a conference in Vienna this week to consider and adopt amendments to the international Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material. IAEA Deputy Director General David Waller said the conference marked another "significant step" toward strengthening the world´s nuclear security regime.

The Conference focuses on proposed amendments to the Physical Protection Convention that were drafted over the past several years. IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei convened the conference at the request of States that are parties to the Convention, which has been an important element of the world´s nuclear security framework since 1980.

The proposed amendments would strengthen the Convention´s existing provisions and expand its scope to cover, among other points, the physical protection of nuclear material used for peaceful purposes, in domestic use, storage and transport; and the physical protection of nuclear material and nuclear facilities used for peaceful purposes against sabotage.

Right now, the Convention obliges States Parties to ensure during international nuclear transport the protection of nuclear material within their territory or on board their ships or aircraft. It is the only international legally binding instrument in the area of physical protection of nuclear material.

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