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Nuclear Summit Ends With Pledge To Cut Enriched Uranium Usage

Two days long nuclear summit concluded in Seoul with representatives of 53 nations pledged to reduce the usage of highly enriched uranium.

Two days long nuclear summit concluded in Seoul with representatives of 53 nations pledging to reduce the usage of highly enriched uranium.

A six page communiqué was also drafted by the participating countries over the period of one year, which focuses on securing the nuclear material.

Communiqué also called on countries to maintain effective security of nuclear materials so that terrorists cannot acquire them for malicious purposes.

Not small steps

In 2010, the pledge was taken for the clean-up of highly enriched uranium. This time countries have pledged to use low enriched uranium in research facilities which are vulnerable to attacks. Leaders from the participating countries also promised to share information about smuggling and atomic stockpiles.

US Secretary of Energy Steven Chu said, “I would not characterize these as small steps. We are working very aggressively. There’s actually a lot of action happening. The world is actually becoming a more secure place.”

Actions by participating nations

In the summit different counties have given commitments for eliminating the stock of the fissile material. In a joint statement Kazakhstan, Russia and the U.S. said they would finish cleaning up of nuclear material from the former Soviet Union nuclear-bomb test site.

Italy promised to eliminate its stock of nuclear material for a nuclear free world. United States, France, Belgium and the Netherlands in a joint statement said, without using highly enriched uranium by 2015 they will produce medical isotopes.

Nuclear stock

According to International Panel on Fissile Materials, about 4.4 million pounds of nuclear material is present. It is a weapon grade material which has been generated by decommissioned bombs and atomic-fuel plants.

Currently, around 20,000 nuclear bombs are present in the world and according to IPFM which tracks nuclear material, the stock of fissile material is enough to produce at least 100,000 new nuclear weapons.

North Korea, who dropped out of NPT ((Non Proliferation Treaty), Iran who is accused of producing nuclear weapons; India, Pakistan and Israel which are not a part of NPT didn’t attended the summit.