Nuclear Security Current Affairs

India, Pakistan exchange lists of nuclear sites

India and Pakistan exchanged the list of their nuclear installations and facilities under the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear installations.

This is the 26th consecutive exchange of such list between the two countries after the first list was exchanged on 1 January 1992. This exchange is done every year on 1st of January between them to prevent them from attacking each other’s nuclear facilities.

Both countries also exchanged the lists of nationals (including civil prisoners and fishermen) of each country lodged in their respective jails as per provisions of the Agreement on Consular Access.

About Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear installations

  • It is bilateral agreement signed between India and Pakistan that bars them from carrying out any surprise attack (or to assist foreign power to attack) on each other’s nuclear installations and facilities.
  • Under it, both countries inform each other about their nuclear installations and facilities that need to be covered under the Agreement on 1 January every year.
  • It was signed on 31st December 1988 and entered into force on 27 January 1991. It was signed by then Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and his Pakistani counterpart Benazir Bhutto.

Agreement on consular access

It was signed between the two countries on May 21, 2008. It facilitates exchange of a comprehensive list of nationals of each country lodged in their jails twice each year on January 1 and July 1.

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4th Nuclear Security Summit begins in Washington

The fourth edition of Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) began in Washington, United States to discuss a gamut of issues pertaining to nuclear security.

In this edition of summit, heads of about 53 countries and representatives of five international organisations including the UNO, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), European Union (EU), Interpol  are taking part.

India is being represented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the two-day summit. The fourth summit is the last summit under the current format and also under the presidency of Barack Obama.

Key facts

  • The summit will highlight achievements and commitments of several countries towards safeguarding nuclear devices and technologies and reducing the threat of nuclear terrorism.
  • This edition of summit is expected to take stock of the measures being taken by all countries to safeguard nuclear materials and facilities and also prevent non-state actors gaining access to them.
  • It is also a crucial element of the US strategy to keep terrorists from acquiring fissile material to make nuclear weapons.
  • The prime focus of the summit will be on North Korea and the terrorist organisation ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria).

Background

  • The idea of Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) was mooted by the US President Barack Obama in 2009 and the first summit was held in 2010 in Washington.
  • It is a signature event of global diplomacy in Obama’s presidency that aimed at preventing nuclear terrorism around the globe.
  • India has been contributing its bit to strengthen nuclear security by taking an active part in the summit ever since its inception in 2010.
  • The second, third summits were held in Seoul (South Korea) and The Hague (Netherlands) in 2010, 2012 and 2014 respectively.

Key outcomes of last three Summits

  • Motivated countries to tighten national laws, rules pertaining to nuclear safety, launch Nuclear Safety Fund (NSF) and set up Nuclear Safety training and Support Centres to impart training in safe use of nuclear devices.
  • Helped countries to enhance physical protection at 650 international radiological facilities and 32 nuclear plants besides putting in place radioactive detection equipment at 328 border crossings, airports and seaports across the globe.

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