Nuclear Security Summit (Seoul, March 26 to 28, 2012)



The Prime Minister will represent France at the second Nuclear Security Summit which opened today in Seoul.

The Seoul Summit is an important step toward taking into account, at the highest international level, the nuclear terrorist threat and the need to ensure the security of the most vulnerable sources. It should also provide an opportunity for each participating State to demonstrate the progress made in the area of nuclear security, notably with respect to the commitments made at the Washington Summit in 2010.

France has long advocated for nuclear security in all international forums. We are attached to the principle of primary responsibility of States in this area, while recognizing the essential role of international cooperation, notably through the action of the IAEA. In particular, we encourage all countries that operate nuclear facilities to request the IAEA to carry out a so-called IPPAS (International Physical Protection Advisory Service) mission in order to assess their national regime of physical protection of nuclear activities, as we did in 2011.

The Seoul Summit will provide an opportunity to reaffirm our support for the existing instruments and mechanisms to strengthen nuclear security as well as the need for the relevant conventions – notably the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Nuclear Facilities and the Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism – to be fully implemented by all States concerned. France, for its part, has overhauled its regulations relating to the physical protection of nuclear activities.

We welcome the fact that this second Summit will now take into account the issue of radiological terrorism as we proposed in Washington. The potential use of radiological sources for malicious purposes does indeed pose a real threat, separate from the threat posed by nuclear terrorism. In accordance with the guidelines promoted at the Washington Summit, France completed an inventory of the spent radioactive sources of French origin in the world and implemented security measures when necessary.

Lastly, we will highlight our action in terms of nuclear security training, for example by reaffirming the creation of the International Institute of Nuclear Energy (I2EN), as well as in terms of research, since France supports the development of processes that will make it possible to avoid, in the medium term, the use of highly enriched uranium to operate research reactors and to produce radioelements for medical use.

These efforts complement our country’s efforts in the area of nuclear security and non-proliferation which aim to promote the responsible development of civilian nuclear applications.