Nuclear Threat Initiative
The Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization founded in 2001 by former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn and philanthropist Ted Turner in the United States, that works to prevent catastrophic attacks and accidents with weapons of mass destruction and disruption – nuclear, biological, radiological, chemical, and cyber.
NTI is actively engaged in developing, shaping, and implementing nuclear security projects. In addition to building global awareness, NTI engages in model programs to inspire private and governmental efforts toward nuclear, biological, and chemical threat reduction.
In 2002, NTI provided the additional $5 million of private money needed (combined with $3 million from the US government) to safely move 48 kg of highly enriched uranium (enough for two nuclear weapons) from the defunct Vinča nuclear reactor near Belgrade to a facility in the Russian Federation to be blended down for use as a conventional nuclear fuel.
As part of its focus to secure nuclear materials worldwide, NTI helped create the World Institute for Nuclear Security (WINS), established in Vienna in 2008. Today, the organization has more than 3,100 members from 114 countries. The Economist wrote, “WINS is a place where, for the first time, those with the practical responsibility for looking after nuclear materials—governments, power plant operators, laboratories, universities—can meet to swap ideas and develop best practices.”
UN Security Council Resolution 1887 supported the WINS mission, calling for states to “share best practices with a view to improved safety standards and nuclear security practices and raise standards of nuclear security to reduce the risk of nuclear terrorism.”
The Nuclear Threat Initiative serves as the Secretariat for the Nuclear Security Project, in cooperation with the Hoover Institution. Former Secretary of State George P. Shultz, former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry, former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger and former Senator Sam Nunn guide the project—an effort to galvanize global action to reduce urgent nuclear dangers and build support for reducing reliance on nuclear weapons, ultimately ending them as a threat to the world.
The organization produced the 2005 film, Last Best Chance, which aired on HBO, as well as the 2010 documentary film Nuclear Tipping Point: which President Obama screened at the White House in April 2010.
NTI catalyzed the development of an international low-enriched uranium fuel bank to back up the marketplace and prevent the proliferation of nuclear technology by ensuring that countries will have access to the fuel needed for peaceful purposes. NTI advisor Warren Buffett provided $50 million to jump-start the reserve, which will be owned and managed by the International Atomic Energy Agency and located in Kazakhstan.
In addition, NTI produces a biennial Nuclear Security Index in partnership with the Economist Intelligence Unit. The NTI Index benchmarks nuclear security conditions across 176 countries and holds governments accountable for properly securing dangerous nuclear materials. The NTI Index, now in its 3rd edition, is the premiere resource for political leaders, government officials, experts, academics, and the news media worldwide on nuclear materials security.
NTI has developed and released recommendations on securing and eliminating radiological sources used and stored at thousands of sites across more than 100 countries. These sources can be used by terrorists to build radiological “dirty bombs” that would incite mass panic, deny access, require extensive and expensive decontamination and have serious economic consequences. Many of these sources, which are used in industry and health-care settings, have minimal or no physical protection—and technological advances have made it possible to replace many of these sources with safer, effective alternatives.
NTI also has received international recognition for work to improve biosecurity, primarily through creating disease surveillance networks. Whether a biological threat is natural or intentional, disease surveillance is a key step in rapid detection and response. Because the response of a health system in one country could have a direct and immediate impact on a neighboring country, or even continent, NTI developed projects that foster cooperation among public health officials across political and geographic boundaries. In 2003, NTI created the Middle East Consortium for Infectious Disease Surveillance (MECIDS) with participation from Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority. Despite tensions in the region, MECIDS continues to share official health data and conduct infectious disease prevention training. NTI also created and nurtured Connecting Organizations for Disease Surveillance (CORDS), which in 2013 launched as independent NGO that links international disease surveillance networks. Its work has received the support of both the World Health Organization, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Sam Nunn is chief executive officer, and Joan Rohlfing serves as president. Co-chaired by Nunn and Ted Turner, NTI is governed by an expert and influential Board of Directors with both current and emeritus members from the United States, Japan, India, Pakistan, China, Jordan, Sweden, France and the United Kingdom. They include:
- Ambassador Hamad Alkaabi, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the IAEA and UAE Special Representative for International Nuclear Cooperation
- Dr. Alexey Arbatov, Head, Center for International Security at Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences
- Des Browne, Vice Chairman, NTI
- Liru Cui, Former President of China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR)
- Charles B. Curtis, President Emeritus
- Pete Domenici, Senior Fellow, Bipartisan Policy Center, Emeritus
- Michael Douglas, Actor, Producer
- Susan Eisenhower, President of The Eisenhower Group, Emeritus
- Ambassador Rolf Ekeus, Chairman of the Board, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
- Gideon Frank, Former Director General of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission
- Eugene Habiger General USAF (Ret.), former Commander in Chief of the United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM)
- HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan, Emeritus
- Igor S. Ivanov, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Russia
- Riaz Mohammad Khan, Former Foreign Secretary of Pakistan
- Jeong H. Kim, Former President, Bell Labs
- Pierre Lellouche, Deputy of Paris, Former Minister of State for Foreign Trade, France
- Former U.S. Senator Richard G. Lugar R-Indiana
- Dr. Jessica T. Mathews, Distinguished Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
- Sam Nunn, Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, NTI
- Ronald L. Olson, Partner, Los Angeles office of Munger, Tolles & Olson
- Paul S. Otellini, Former President and Chief Executive Officer, Intel Corporation
- Hisashi Owada, Judge, International Court of Justice
- Dr. William Perry, former U.S. Secretary of Defense, Emeritus
- Malcolm Rifkind, Former Member of Parliament for Kensington
- Joan Rohlfing, President and Chief Operating Officer of NTI
- Dr. Nafis Sadik, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General, Emeritus
- Professor Amartya Sen, Lamont University Professor and Professor of Economics and Philosophy, Harvard University, Emeritus
- Ellen O. Tauscher, Former Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs
- Ted Turner, Co-Chairman
- Rt. Hon. Shirley Williams, United Kingdom House of Lords, Emeritus
- Professor Fujia Yang, Academician, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Advisors to the Board of Directors include leading figures in science, business and international security. Advisors to the Board include:
- Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
- Dr. David A. Hamburg, President Emeritus of Carnegie Corporation of New York
- Siegfried S. Hecker, Director Emeritus of the Los Alamos National Laboratory
- Frederick Iseman, Chairman and Managing Partner of Caxton-Iseman Capital Inc.
- George F. Russell Jr., Co-Chairman of the EastWest Institute and founder of the Frank Russell Company
NTI's staff includes experts in international affairs, nonproliferation, security and military issues, public health, medicine and communications, who have operational experience in their areas of specialty.
- "Wins Members - Members". wins.org.
- "Who wins, nukes". The Economist. October 2, 2008. Retrieved 2011-06-09.
- "United Nations Security Council Resolution 1887" (PDF). The United Nations. September 24, 2009. Retrieved 2011-06-09.
- "Documentary Advances Nuclear Free Movement". NPR. Retrieved 2010-06-10.
- "White House Hosts Screening of Nuclear Tipping Point | NTI News White House Hosts Screening of Nuclear Tipping Point". www.nti.org. Retrieved 2016-07-18.
- Michael McIntee (2010-04-09), "The Nuclear Tipping Point" Screens At White House, retrieved 2016-07-18
- "NTI Nuclear Materials Security Index". Nuclear Threat Initiative. Retrieved 2016-07-18.
- "Radiological | NTI". www.nti.org. Retrieved 2016-07-18.