The EU and Nuclear Security (November 2013)

Photo: NSS 2012, Council of the EU/Choi Hang Young

Overview of the latest EU official documents, publications of the Consortium, and publications from the network regarding the EU and nuclear security.

According to the 2003 definition of the IAEA, nuclear security is “the prevention and detection of, and response to, theft, sabotage, unauthorized access, illegal transfer or other malicious acts involving nuclear material, other radioactive substances or their associated facilities”. The Nuclear Security Summits (NSS), initiated by the United States in 2010, are the main events during which nuclear security is discussed multilaterally. Their objective is the strengthening of global nuclear security and the reinforcement of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime, in response to the threat posed by nuclear terrorism. The EU is a leading actor on the international stage regarding the security of nuclear materials and facilities. Three years after the first Nuclear Security Summit, the position of the EU was confirmed by the Minister of Energy of Lithuania, speaking at the IAEA International Conference on Nuclear Security on behalf of the EU High Representative Catherine Ashton (July 2013):

“Nuclear terrorism, as the risk of non-state actors getting access to nuclear materials or radioactive sources, represents a most serious threat to international security. Therefore, national and international nuclear security measures must be in place in order to secure nuclear material and prevent illicit nuclear trafficking and nuclear terrorism. For these reasons, we need to establish a global nuclear security framework as quickly as possible. […] The EU, with its large multinational nuclear industry, has a particular interest in ensuring that the peaceful use of nuclear energy is in accordance with the highest possible standards of nuclear safety, security and non-proliferation, within the EU and worldwide. Nuclear security is a longstanding EU priority”.

Statement on behalf of the EU High Representative Catherine Ashton,
delivered by the Minister of Energy of Lithuania,
International Conference on Nuclear Security: Enhancing Global Efforts,
Vienna, 1st July 2013.

EU main policies and instruments regarding nuclear security:

EU support to the IAEA:

EU-IAEA Joint Action


Council Decision

Key EU Statements and Documents

Publication of the Consortium:

Latest Publications from the Network:

Focus Archives