Joint Statement on Nuclear Terrorism Preparedness and Response

Joint Statement on Supporting Nuclear and Radiological Terrorism

Preparedness and Response Capabilities 

Subscribed by Australia, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States, with the support of the United Nations and INTERPOL.

A nuclear terror event anywhere in the world would have devastating human, environmental, economic, and political consequences. Building on the Summit’s nuclear terrorism prevention and nuclear and radiological material security accomplishments and efforts, wethe Parties to this statement recognize the need for ensuring adequate nuclear emergency preparedness and response capabilities.  Such capabilities contribute tofurther reducing not onlythe risks posed by nuclear or radiological terrorism (hereafter, “nuclear terrorism”), but also the risks posed by other malicious activities or accidents involving nuclear or radiological materials and facilities.Ensuring preparedness in National capabilities to counter and respond to nuclear terror acts is a critical task for all Nations, as exemplified by the Scenario-Based Policy Discussions successfully completed by participating nations as part ofthe 2016 Summit.  Nuclear terrorism preparedness requires a range of activities to establish,enhance, sustain, and exercise the capabilities necessary to counter and respond to nuclear terror incidents. Nuclear terrorism response requires a range of technical, operational, and communications capabilities toprovide coordination and resolution of the incident, as well as mitigatingits consequences.

Consistent with the Nuclear Security Summit goal of reducing the threat posed by nuclear terrorism and furthering the 2014 Hague Summit Communique pledge to “maintain effective emergency preparedness, response, and mitigation capabilities,”we the parties to this statementrecognize that ensuring adequate nuclear terrorismpreparedness and response capabilities complements international nuclear security efforts.  We also recognize that adequate nuclear terrorism preparedness and response capabilities contribute to strengthening the interface between nuclear safety and security, and serve as a potential deterrent to attack.

Nuclear terrorism preparedness and response capabilities include the following capabilities:

  • National policies and plans:Establish and maintainadequate National response plans and policies regarding preparedness, response, and mitigation of incidents and threats of nuclear terrorism, including guidance forlocalplanning in responding to such threats and incidents.
  • Technical expertise and capabilities:Identify, confirm, assess, and respond to nuclear terror incidentsand threats, including radiological characterization and assessments to inform protective actions, emergency medical training and response support, and decontamination tools and training.
  • Public communications and education: Develop and maintainstrategic communications and effective public messaging providing not only public safety awareness and emergency readiness in the event of a nuclear terror incident but also mechanisms and procedures for ensuring prompt dissemination of public safety information to potentially affected communities.
  • Sustainment of capabilitiesSustain necessary capabilities through continuing education, training, and exercises involving National and local officials and multinational partners charged with nuclear terrorism preparedness, response, or associated decision-making.
  • International coordination and assistance mechanisms: Per the International Convention on the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, Convention on Assistance in the Case of Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency, and other relevant international legal instruments, and considering multilateral mechanisms and initiatives such as offered by the United Nations (UN), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), INTERPOL, the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT), and the Global Partnership (GP) against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction,establish mechanisms for requesting and/or providing (as appropriate):
    • Nuclear terrorism preparedness and response capacity building, 
    • As required, post-event mutualassistance offered by the State Partiesof the Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency,
    • Government-to-Government coordination and communication in the event of nuclear terrorism.

Recognizing that an act of nuclear terrorism anywhere in the world would have global impacts affecting all Nations, wethe parties to this statement affirm ourwillingnessto cooperate to strengthen National and international nuclear terrorism preparedness and response capabilities.  We agree on the following commitments in support of this objective:

  • Ensure adequate National nuclear terrorism preparedness and response capabilities at home.  We the parties to this statement reaffirm our National commitment to establish and maintain the National-level capabilities required for nuclear terrorism preparedness and response.We also commit to conductcomprehensivenuclear terrorism preparedness and response drills, incorporating roles and responsibilities at the National and local levels to foster strong interagency cooperation across law enforcement, medical, technical/scientific, and policy agencies.  We commit to strengthen our National interagency coordination, cooperation, and information-sharing mechanisms needed in this regard, to support whole-of-government crisis response.
  • Support sharing relevant resources, expertise, and good practices, in order to strengthen global nuclear terrorism preparedness and response capabilities, including relevant post-event mutual assistance.  Consistent with our respectiveinternational legal obligations,we the parties to this statementagree in principle to support--at the bilateral level, upon request--relevant expertise, training, or other related resources supporting nuclear terrorism preparedness and response capabilitieswith interested states, as well as offer relevant post-event mutual assistanceincluding through the IAEA Response and Assistance Network (RANET). We recognize that requests for bilateral assistance must be evaluated by the States involved on a case by case basis and would be subject to availability of resources, legal considerations, and other concerns.  However, we the parties to this statement recognize the importance of supporting nuclear terrorismpreparedness and response capacities and thus encourage bilateral and multilateral dialogue and coordination on how best to assure adequate global preparedness and response capabilities.As such, we also commit to making available relevant expertise or experience via international and multilateral effortsas the UN, IAEA, INTERPOL, GICNT, and the GP.  National Points of Contact will be provided, in addition to IAEA, INTERPOL, GICNT, and GP points of contact,to support the coordination and evaluation of requests and offers of assistance.
  • Support for international best practice guidance on preparedness and resilience objectives and the specific capabilities needed to meet them, as published by the organizations listed above,including the IAEA Nuclear Security Series 15 - Nuclear Security Recommendations on Nuclear and Other Radioactive Material out of Regulatory Control, the IAEA Safety Series GSR Part 7 on Preparedness and Response for a Nuclear or Radiological Emergency and the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism’s Fundamentals for Establishing and Maintaining a Nuclear Security Response Framework ,which build on the aforementioned core competencies We the parties to this statement recognize these documents as an excellent foundation for States wishing to establish or sustain baseline nuclear terrorism preparedness and response capabilities, and actively support the broadest possible international application and use of these documents.
  • Share lessons learned from real world incidents (i.e., nuclear and radiological incidents, materials out of regulatory control, significant all hazards-related emergency response efforts, etc.) that have implications for or applications to nuclear terrorism preparedness, response, and mitigation, in order to incorporate this experience into Preparedness and Response capabilities nationally and internationally.
  • Encourage and support National and State/local-level full field and table-top exercises aimed at ensuring nuclear terrorism preparedness and response capabilities.  As appropriate, participating countries to the exercises will encourage reciprocal, bilateral observation of National and transborder exercises, with a view towards sharing good practices in sustaining preparedness and response capabilities, while ensuring confidentiality of sensitive information.We the parties to this statementcommit, as far as resources permit, to host, observe, or support the development and implementation of radiological emergency management exercises (REMEX) under the GICNT’s Response and Mitigation Working Group.  REMEXs emphasize the importance of international cooperation in preparedness and resilience by providing the opportunity for two or more governments to collaboratively exercise response capabilities for nuclear terrorism with bilateral or multilateral scenarios.  REMEXs also provide a venue for sharing the good practices and lessons learned from other national and State/local-level exercises encouraged under this gift basket.