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Nuclear security summit to reduce chances of radioactive substances getting to terrorists

March 24, 2014, 23:56 UTC+3 THE HAGUE
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THE HAGUE, March 23,  /ITAR-TASS/. Nuclear security summit that will be held in The Hague March 24-25 will help reduce the chances of radioactive substances falling into terrorists’ hands, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told a news conference Sunday.

The problems that will be discussed in The Hague have immediate impact on people’s security across the world, since nuclear materials that are used in the energy sector of in medicine can also be used for the production of dirty bombs once they get into inappropriate hands, Rutte said.

He indicated that the chances of radioactive materials falling into the terrorists’ hands are small enough for the time being but if this happens the consequences may be unpredictable, and that is why it was important to take every possible step for thwarting nuclear terrorism.

Rutte believes that the main tasks in this sphere are to reduce the amount of radioactive materials worldwide, to consolidate security of the nuclear materials that have already been manufactured and to develop international collaboration in that field.

He said that serious steps were being taken along all the three guidelines but they were not enough. Specifically, the International Atomic Energy Agency registered 146 incidents linked to fissionable materials in 2013, and that is why it was important to take supplementary measures for assuring nuclear security, Rutte said.

He indicated that the international mechanism providing for the safe storage and transfer of radioactive substances were not enough.

Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans spoke about a group of experts from 25 countries who had devised a set of measures making it possible to trace the origins of stolen nuclear materials and to identify the people responsible for stealing.

Results of the group’s efforts would be represented at the summit, Timmermans said.

Leaders of more than 50 countries and four international organizations are expected to take part in the summit. The Russian delegation is led by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

"These kind of conferences are often a good opportunity to discuss other issues. Ukraine is one of those issues," Rutte said.

He gave the assurances, however, that the events like a separate meeting of the G7 did not overlap with the program of the summit and would not interfere with its procedures.

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