The Fissile Materials Working Group: A Case Study of How a Civil Society Group Can Impact Fissile Material Policy

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  • March 2014

    Security experts the world over agree that nuclear terrorism is one of the greatest threats to international peace and security in the 21st century. Since the end of the Cold War, there have been more than 20 confirmed cases of the illicit or unauthorised trafficking of fissile materials. Fissile material for more than 100,000 additional nuclear weapons is spread across the globe. If obtained in sufficient quantities, a capable terrorist group could construct a crude nuclear device capable of killing hundreds of thousands, which would have a far-reaching impact on the global economy, the environment, as well as civil liberties. International efforts to combat this threat are inadequate because nuclear security needs binding international guidelines, international oversight and a proper mechanism to halt fissile material production.