Nuclear Threat Initiative

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The Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization founded in 2001 by Ted Turner and Sam Nunn in the United States, which exists to strengthen global security by reducing the spread of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, and also to reduce the risk that they will actually be used.

NTI is actively engaged in developing, shaping, and implementing nuclear security projects. In addition to building global awareness, NTI engages in model programs to inspire private and governmental efforts toward nuclear, biological, and chemical threat reduction.

In 2002, NTI provided the additional $5 million of private money needed (combined with $3 million from the US government) to safely move 48 kg of highly enriched uranium (enough for two nuclear weapons) from the defunct Vinča nuclear reactor near Belgrade to a facility in the Russian Federation to be blended down for use as a conventional nuclear fuel. Throughout this process the Initiative worked to secure these vulnerable materials from illicit use. I[1]

As part of its focus to secure nuclear materials worldwide, NTI helped create the World Institute for Nuclear Security (WINS), established in Vienna in 2008. Today, the organization has more than 2,821 members from almost 111 countries.[2] The Economist wrote, “WINS is a place where, for the first time, those with the practical responsibility for looking after nuclear materials—governments, power plant operators, laboratories, universities—can meet to swap ideas and develop best practices.”[3]

UN Security Council Resolution 1887 supported the WINS mission, calling for states to “share best practices with a view to improved safety standards and nuclear security practices and raise standards of nuclear security to reduce the risk of nuclear terrorism.”[4]

The Nuclear Threat Initiative serves as the Secretariat for the Nuclear Security Project, in cooperation with the Hoover Institution. Former Secretary of State George P. Shultz, former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry, former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger and former Senator Sam Nunn guide the project—an effort to galvanize global action to reduce urgent nuclear dangers and build support for reducing reliance on nuclear weapons, ultimately ending them as a threat to the world.

The organization produced the 2005 film, Last Best Chance, which aired on HBO, as well as the 2010 documentary film Nuclear Tipping Point.[5]

In addition to its multimedia and editorial work, NTI produces a biennial Nuclear Materials Security Index in partnership with The Economist Intelligence Unit. The publication offers in-depth public accounting of weapons-usable nuclear materials and security conditions in 176 countries according to a variety of factors. The most recent Index, launched in January 2014, highlights the progress made by these states towards removing all, or most, of their stocks of weapons-usable nuclear materials. Since its release, the NTI Index has received global coverage from both The New York Times and Washington Post editorial boards, voicing support for NTI’s foremost recommendation: to develop a system of global standards and best practices for securing nuclear materials.[6][7] Some states used the NTI Index at the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit in order to track their own progress towards, and form greater commitments to, global nuclear nonproliferation.

NTI also has received international recognition for work to improve biosecurity, primarily through creating disease surveillance networks. Whether a biological threat is natural or intentional, disease surveillance is a key step in rapid detection and response. Because the response of a health system in one country could have a direct and immediate impact on a neighboring country, or even continent, NTI developed projects that foster cooperation among public health officials across political and geographic boundaries. In 2003, NTI created the Middle East Consortium for Infectious Disease Surveillance (MECIDS) with participation from Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority. Despite tensions in the region, MECIDS continues to share official health data and conduct infectious disease prevention training. NTI also created and nurtured Connecting Organizations for Disease Surveillance (CORDS), which in 2013 launched as independent NGO that links international disease surveillance networks. Its work has received the support of both the World Health Organization, and the Food and Animal Organization of the United Nations.

NTI's leadership[edit]

Co-chaired by philanthropist Ted Turner and former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn, NTI is governed by an expert and influential Board of Directors with both current and emeritus members from the United States, Japan, India, Pakistan, China, Jordan, Sweden, France and the United Kingdom. They include:

Advisors to the Board of Directors include leading figures in science, business and international security. Advisors to the Board include:

NTI's staff includes experts in international affairs, nonproliferation, security and military issues, public health, medicine and communications, who have operational experience in their areas of specialty.


External links[edit]