A new IPFM report is now available - "Global Fissile Material Report 2009: The Path to Nuclear Disarmament". The report by the International Panel on Fissile Materials charts some of the key technical and policy steps for securing verifiable world-wide nuclear disarmament and eliminating the world's huge stockpiles of highly enriched uranium and plutonium, the key materials for making nuclear weapons.
Global Fissile Material Report 2009 discusses, in particular, how nuclear-armed states could declare their stockpiles of nuclear weapons, plutonium and highly enriched uranium, and how these declarations might be verified using the methods and tools being developed for what is now called 'nuclear archaeology.'
The report includes IPFM's annual assessment of worldwide stocks, production, and disposition of highly enriched uranium and plutonium, and current efforts to eliminate these materials. The report includes for the first time an estimate of the number and locations of nuclear weapons sites worldwide, listed by country.
The IPFM estimates that the current global stockpile of highly enriched uranium is about 1600 metric tons. There are about 500 tons of separated plutonium, divided almost equally between weapon and civilian stocks, but it is all weapon-usable. The global stockpiles of plutonium and highly enriched uranium together are sufficient for over one hundred thousand nuclear weapons. The report lists the location, size and safeguards status of operating, under construction and planned fissile material production facilities around the world.
The report considers options for monitoring nuclear warhead dismantlement and the disposition of the fissile materials they contain as well as other stockpiles of fissile materials; verifiably ending the production of fissile materials for weapons, through a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (a topic treated in detail in Global Fissile Material Report 2008); the potential roles of nuclear fuel-cycle facilities in enabling nuclear breakout in a disarmed world; and
the potential contributions of societal or citizen verification to making it impossible to conceal illicit nuclear-weapon-related activities.
The report is available on line at www.fissilematerials.org/ipfm/site_down/gfmr09.pdf
Source and contact: International Panel on Fissile Materials. Princeton University, 221 Nassau Street, 2nd Floor, Princeton, NJ 08542, USA