Confronting the "Perpetual menace to human security": Openness as a tool to enable nuclear disarmament

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Nuclear weapon states historically have attached great secrecy to their nuclear weapon and fissile material production programs and stockpiles, despite warnings that this would fuel fears, handicap informed debate and decision making, and drive arms races. As evidenced by the "Action Plan on Nuclear Disarmament" agreed upon at the 2010 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) Review Conference, however, the international community now sees greater transparency about nuclear weapon and fissile material stocks as necessary for enabling and monitoring progress toward nuclear disarmament. To support this effort, the International Panel on Fissile Materials has proposed a step-by-step program for weapon states to declare their inventories, production histories, and disposition of nuclear warheads and fissile materials, and to set up joint projects to develop methods for verifying these declarations. This openness initiative is described here, and could be adopted at the 2015 NPT Review Conference, laying a basis for negotiating verifiable deep reductions in nuclear arsenals and their eventual elimination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-75
Number of pages11
JournalNonproliferation Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Political Science and International Relations


  • Disarmament
  • Fissile material
  • Highly enriched uranium
  • Nonproliferation
  • Plutonium
  • Verification


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