This vulnerability was seen as having been addressed to a considerable extent by the IAEA international safeguards system and by a set of safeguards arrangements and activities at the national and regional levels. It was noted, however, that the growth of nuclear power worldwide, using current technologies, could strain the current safeguards system’s limited resources, compromising their effectiveness by increasing the number of sites to be inspected and by facilitating the further proliferation of nuclear weapons. Such developments would require new approaches to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, such as development and introduction of intrinsically proliferation-resistant nuclear energy technologies balanced with extrinsic measures (such as nuclear safeguards, etc.) to reduce the risk of indirect nuclear proliferation to an acceptable level.

Finally, the threat of nuclear terrorism by non-state actors has become a critical concern as groups such as Aum Shin Rikyo, Al Qaeda, and others attempt to acquire nuclear weapons or weapons-usable material (apparently unsuccessfully). Both the United States and Russia have been targeted by terrorists for major attacks; both have thwarted numerous attacks; and both have suffered losses of many civilian lives. Against this threat, too, the United States’ and Russia’s interests coincide.

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