GENERAL STATEMENT BY FINLAND
NUCLEAR SECURITY SUMMIT 2016, WASHINGTON
Nuclear Security work will continue after Washington Summit in five existing international fora, among others, that are already very active in this field: the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations, Interpol, Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) and Global Partnership. Finland is committed to strengthening global nuclear security and to implementing the Communiqué and the five Action Plans to be suggested for the Summit.
It is crucial that the momentum to improve nuclear security is retained after 2016. Finland supports the initiative to establish a contact group to assess implementation of nuclear security commitments, including those made during the Nuclear Security Summit process. The IAEA’s international conference on nuclear security and its Ministerial segment in December 2016 will be an important opportunity to show the continuing political support for our important mission. Wider ownership of nuclear security objectives is needed. An inclusive approach in the follow-up is the best way to increase participation in our joint effort.
Further progress has been made in securing nuclear materials, in strengthening national systems and in enhancing regional and international cooperation since the beginning of the Nuclear Security Summit process. This is largely due to the political will mobilised through the Summits. Unfortunately, the international security environment has recently deteriorated. Work done in the NSS process has been timely and effective. However, the importance of securing the continuum of this work is clearer than ever.
Past years Finland has raised several topics to the discussions. This time we would like to emphasise the importance of cyber security, the importance of nuclear security culture, the importance of sharing information, including intelligence, and the importance of nuclear security activities within the IAEA. In addition, we would like to highlight the importance of safe, secure and sustainable disposal of nuclear waste, in which Finland is a forerunner in the world.
Information and cyber security has been a cross cutting theme throughout the preparations of this Summit. We have realised the magnitude of the challenge. If not adequately addressed, vulnerability to cyber attacks grows as nuclear facilities move to digital systems. This threat does not respect the distinction between civilian and military use of nuclear materials. Terrorists and criminals can be as powerful as national states.
Nuclear security culture is about the human and organizational factors in our effort. A developed security culture in the nuclear field means that the entire chain of national actors is able to identify risks, prevent and to respond to them. A working inter-agency cooperation is part of good nuclear security culture. We believe this is one of the strengths of the Finnish national system.
Finland has recently designed a model of a nuclear security detection architecture, which is based on the right combination of personnel, technology, and an integrated timely operation of all authorities involved. Information on this inter-agency model is available, and we are very willing to discuss it further with any interested partner. Developing national level nuclear detection architectures and capabilities, and strengthening regional efforts are prerequisites for an effective international cooperation in combating illicit trafficking and malevolent use of nuclear and other radioactive materials. Finland coordinates a Gift Basket on National Nuclear Detection Architectures to this Summit. We are grateful of support many other NSS-countries have shown to this initiative.
Sharing nuclear security-related information, intelligence and other information, is a necessity in combating nuclear terrorism. Even though the confidentiality of this information has to be taken into account, the confidentiality shouldn’t be used as an excuse for not sharing information which is possible to share. Finland is pleased to note that Summit Communiqué also recognises the value of information sharing. Be it about nuclear detection or sharing information, it is important to have exercises both at national and at international level to be sure that our systems function as they should.
IAEA’s essential responsibility and the central role in nuclear security activities are unanimously agreed among the Nuclear Security Summit participants. We are confident that this continues to be visible also in practice. We must ensure that the work carried out under the IAEA umbrella, among others, has the resources it needs. Continuing funding also from the regular budget of the IAEA is necessary. The NSS IAEA’s Action Plan notes that it is important to enhance nuclear security within the IAEA and achieve a suitable balance between the IAEA’s nuclear security program and the nuclear safety program. Finland warmly supports this target.
Another national project relevant to the agenda of this Summit is the safe and secure disposal of nuclear waste. Finland issued construction license in 2015 for the spent nuclear fuel geological disposal facility Onkalo. It is the first construction license ever issued for the disposal facility globally. The Onkalo will meet strict and appropriate security requirements and uses advanced technology developed mainly in Finland. The disposal facility can be ready for operation in 2023. Responsible use of nuclear energy takes into account future generations and one part of it is to take care of security, safety and safeguards of disposal of nuclear waste. This is an issue which all countries using nuclear energy have in front of them at some point.
National nuclear security systems will not reach their full potential without cooperation at the international level. Finland promotes wider ratification of the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism and of the Amendment made in 2005 to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material. This amendment will make the Nuclear Material Convention decisively more effective.
Threat of nuclear terrorism and the need to address it through international cooperation has been in the focus of the Summit series from the very beginning. We have done good work and it is easy to recognize the four Nuclear Security Summits as an outstanding process in addressing global challenges. Finland would like to thank President Obama personally for launching Nuclear Security Summit process, and the United States for leading preparations for this Summit. Finland has supported the objectives of the Nuclear Security Summit process since the beginning and will continue to do so.