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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, which works to prevent catastrophic attacks and accidents with weapons of mass destruction and disruption – nuclear, biological, radiological, chemical, and cyber.
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.”
NTI has been 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.
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.
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.
In 2008, NTI helped create the World Institute for Nuclear Security (WINS), in Vienna, as part of its focus to secure nuclear materials worldwide. Today, the organization has more than 3,800 members from 118 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.”
In early 2018, NTI received a $6 million grant from the Open Philanthropy Project. The grant will be used to "help strengthen its efforts to mitigate global biological threats that have increased as the world has become more interconnected." In January 2018 NTI announced that it had received $250,000 in support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. That money will help advance NTI's efforts in developing a "Global Health Security Index". The index would analyze a country's biological programs and policies.
The organization produced the 2005 film, Last Best Chance, which aired on HBO, and 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 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.
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. According to NTI, The NTI Index, now[when?] 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 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, supported by the World Health Organization, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Ernest J. Moniz has served as chief executive officer since June, 2017, and Joan Rohlfing serves as president. Co-chaired by Moniz, 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
- Charles A. Bowsher, Former Comptroller General Of The United States And Head Of The General Accounting Office
- Gov. Edmund G. Brown, Jr., Governor of California
- Des Browne, Vice Chairman, NTI
- Liru Cui, Former President of China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR)
- Charles B. Curtis, President 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, Former Deputy of Paris, Former Minister of State for Foreign Trade, France
- Former U.S. Senator Richard G. Lugar R-Indiana
- Ernest J. Moniz, co-chairman and chief executive officer, NTI
- Sam Nunn, co-chairman, 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
- Malcolm Rifkind, Former Member of Parliament for Kensington
- Joan Rohlfing, President and Chief Operating Officer of NTI
- Ellen O. Tauscher, Former Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs
- Ted Turner, Co-Chairman
- Professor Fujia Yang, Academician, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Advisors to the Board of Directors include[when?] 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
- David Heymann, Chair of the Health Protection Agency UK, Head of the Centre on Global Health Security at Chatham House, London and Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
- 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.
- "Learn About NTI & Preventing Nuclear Dangers | Nuclear Threat Initiative | NTI". www.nti.org. Retrieved 2018-03-19.
- "United Nations Security Council Resolution 1887" (PDF). The United Nations. September 24, 2009. Retrieved 2011-06-09.
- "Wins Members - Members". wins.org.
- "Who wins, nukes". The Economist. October 2, 2008. Retrieved 2011-06-09.
- "Nuclear Threat Initiative to expand focus on global biosecurity risks with new grant". Homeland Preparedness News. 2018-01-25. Retrieved 2018-02-12.
- "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.
- Official website
- "Mr. Buffett's Excellent Idea". Opinion. The New York Times. 28 Sep 2006.
Warren Buffett is pledging $50 million for a fuel bank — run by the International Atomic Energy Agency — to be a supplier of last resort for any country that chooses not to get into the risky reactor fuel business and gets the I.A.E.A. seal of approval