Leaders from 50 countries to focus on security at Washington, D.C. summit


WASHINGTON, DC – Leaders from 50 countries will convene in Washington, DC this week at the 2016 Nuclear Industry Summit (NIS 2016) to identify ways to further strengthen security of the commercial nuclear materials that are part of the fabric of modern society.

An official side event of the fourth Nuclear Security Summit that will be hosted by U.S. President Barack Obama from March 31-April 1, NIS 2016 is being coordinated by the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI).

“The role of the nuclear industry in the world is astoundingly beneficial,” said NEI President and Chief Executive Officer Marvin Fertel, who also serves as chairman of NIS 2016. “In medicine, agriculture, manufacturing, research, electricity production and myriad other areas, nuclear technologies and materials raise standards of living and literally save lives.”

Both the Nuclear Industry Summit (NIS) and the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) were started after President Obama announced an international effort to secure vulnerable nuclear materials, break up black markets, and detect and intercept illicitly trafficked materials in 2009.

The following year, President Obama hosted the first Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C., bringing together heads of state from 47 countries. Industry leaders from every region of the world also gathered in Washington for the first Nuclear Industry Summit.

In 2012, leaders from 36 countries gathered in Seoul for the second Nuclear Industry Summit and two years later, 53 countries were represented at the 2014 Nuclear Industry Summit in Amsterdam.

The 2016 Nuclear Security Summit is expected to bring together 50 heads of state and four international organizations to discuss intergovernmental policies in global nuclear security.

NIS 2016 will attract nuclear energy industry leaders from around the world to address the future use of nuclear technology, cybersecurity and securing nuclear materials. Reports from multinational working groups will recap progress made over the past two years and recommend additional measures to further enhance existing nuclear safeguards.

These reports will form the basis of a joint communique that will be transmitted to leaders at the Nuclear Security Summit on March 30.

“More than 350 attendees at NIS 2016 will hear how seriously the industry takes its commitment to making sure citizens around the world benefit from the uses of nuclear technology, as well as our commitment to managing nuclear materials safely and securely,” Fertel said.

The previous nuclear summits have resulted in the removal of highly enriched uranium (HEU) from 29 countries plus Taiwan and two dozen nuclear facilities, increasing security at nuclear storage sites around the world, and creating new teams to detect nuclear smuggling networks.

“The 2016 Nuclear Industry Summit, like others before it, will be a remarkable collaboration of stewardship for the betterment of mankind,” said Jack Edlow, NIS 2016 International Board of Advisors chairman and president of Edlow International Co. “The nuclear industry has continued to improve all aspects of its nuclear security arrangements, including physical protection, material accountability and security culture. I’m proud to be a part of this industry and this important event.”

Heads of state, industries and individuals who have made exemplary strides in advancing the security and safety of nuclear materials will be recognized at a joint awards ceremony on March 31.

Additionally, the 2016 Nuclear Industry Summit Expo will be held from March 31-April 1 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, site of the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit, featuring exhibits from more than 60 participating nations, companies and organizations.

“The progress we have witnessed is real,” Fertel said. “Working together, we can maintain the safety and security of nuclear technology so that we sustain a balanced energy supply, protect our environment and improve the quality of life for billions of people around the globe.”