The NTI Nuclear Security Index
Top Stories from 2020
The 2020 NTI Nuclear Security Index finds that progress on protecting nuclear materials against theft and nuclear facilities against acts of sabotage has slowed significantly over the past two years, despite ongoing, major security gaps.
Among countries with weapons-usable nuclear materials, Australia ranks first for the fifth time. Pakistan is the most improved.
As we’ve learned through the COVID-19 pandemic, global security is only as strong as the weakest link. When it comes to existential threats—and even to those that could do just serious damage—every country can do more and must do more.
Explore the results for all three rankings of the NTI Nuclear Security Index, as well as the new Radioactive Source Security Assessment. You can view results by Overall, Category, or Indicator Score. Toggle between the map and the table to explore the results in different ways. Select a country to explore that country's results in more detail. All scores are normalized on a 0 to 100 scale, where 100 means the strongest nuclear security conditions. The Protect Facilities ranking was first launched in 2016 and does not have scores for 2014/2012. Countries in the Radioactive Source Security Assessment do not receive scores or ranks.
Explore the 10 recommendations from the NTI Nuclear Security Index and the 5 recommendations from the Radioactive Source Security Assessment. See how countries can better protect nuclear and radiological materials domestically and strengthen the global security architecture. Click on a card on the left to see the recommendation. To view all 15 recommendations, click below.
Sustain Political Attention on Nuclear Security
Greater effort is needed to strengthen and sustain political attention on nuclear security and to make continued progress in improving national regulatory frameworks and building an effective global nuclear security architecture.
Revive Efforts to Reduce Stocks of HEU and Plutonium
The international community should revive efforts to reduce stocks of HEU and plutonium. Meanwhile, given the continued possession, use, and transport of weapons-usable nuclear materials, countries should focus on long-term, sustainable stewardship of their materials as long as they continue to possess them.
Strengthen Nuclear Security Regulatory Regimes and Strive for Continuous Improvement
Countries must strengthen their nuclear security regulatory regimes and strive for continuous improvement, particularly in areas necessary for long-term, sustainable nuclear stewardship, such as Insider Threat Prevention, Security Culture, and Cybersecurity.
Address the Human Factor through Insider Threat Prevention Measures and Efforts to Strengthen Security Culture
Regulatory requirements and nuclear operators should address the human factor through comprehensive measures for insider threat prevention measures and efforts to strengthen security culture.
Strengthen Cybersecurity at Nuclear Facilities
Given the rapid pace with which cyber threats evolve, countries should prioritize actions to strengthen cybersecurity at nuclear facilities to prepare for, protect against, and respond to cyber threats.
Bolster the Global Nuclear Security Architecture
Countries must do more to close gaps and support, contribute to, and participate in efforts to bolster the international nuclear security architecture. This will require greater political attention.
Countries supportive of nuclear security should work to build a stronger, more inclusive narrative about the importance of nuclear security to achieve broader participation in global efforts to strengthen nuclear security and increased support for the IAEA’s nuclear security role.
Strengthen Support for the International Atomic Energy Agency
Countries should increase their financial and political support for the IAEA by contributing to the Nuclear Security Fund or supporting and participating in IAEA activities. The IAEA should do more to build awareness of its nuclear security activities and how they have helped countries to benefit from peaceful nuclear applications.
Build Confidence in Nuclear Security
Countries with nuclear materials and nuclear facilities should take more steps to build confidence in their nuclear security, including improving transparency around stocks of nuclear materials and increasing participation in peer reviews.
Establish Legal and Regulatory Frameworks before Starting New Nuclear Power Programs
Interest in peaceful nuclear use should be met with efforts to prepare those countries to assume nuclear security responsibilities. Countries considering new nuclear energy capabilities should establish the legal and regulatory frameworks and develop the capacity necessary to be responsible stewards of their nuclear power programs.
The NTI Nuclear Security Index: Losing Focus in a Disordered World
The 2020 NTI Index finds that progress on global nuclear security has slowed significantly over the past two years, despite sizeable gaps that continue to leave nuclear materials vulnerable to theft and facilities vulnerable to sabotage. This is an alarming development at a time when the global risk environment is characterized by growing disorder and disruption and the international community’s ability to manage cross-border threat is taxed.
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