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Unmaking the BombA Fissile Material Approach to Nuclear Disarmament and Nonproliferation$
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Harold A. Feiveson, Alexander Glaser, Zia Mian, and Frank N. von Hippel

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027748

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027748.001.0001

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Ending Production of Fissile Materials for Weapons

Ending Production of Fissile Materials for Weapons

Chapter:
(p.143) 8 Ending Production of Fissile Materials for Weapons
Source:
Unmaking the Bomb
Author(s):

Harold A. Feiveson

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262027748.003.0008

To cap nuclear arsenals and make nuclear weapon reductions irreversible, it will be necessary to end the production of unsafeguarded highly enriched uranium and separated plutonium. To achieve this goal, in 1993, the UN General Assembly instructed the United Nations Conference on Disarmament in Geneva to begin negotiating a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (FMCT). This chapter explores the possible scope and verification challenges for an FMCT. These challenges include monitoring of operating and shutdown enrichment and reprocessing plants and ruling out potential clandestine production including at military nuclear facilities and in naval nuclear fuel programs in the nuclear weapon states. The latter two goals will pose some additional challenges beyond those of verifying the Non-proliferation Treaty in non-weapon states. Many non-weapon states also would like to see the nuclear weapon states place their pre-existing stocks of civilian and excess weapons material under international safeguards.

Keywords:   Fissile materials, Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (FMCT), Conference on Disarmament, Nuclear weapon states, Non-weapon states

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