Oslo, Norway - Experts from twenty-five countries, both nuclear weapon states and non-nuclear weapon states gathered in Oslo, Norway from November 16-18, to launch the work of the International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification.
Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted the second plenary meeting of the IPNDV to discuss the latest research on monitoring and verification and the technical challenges associated with the verification of nuclear disarmament. Experts from several international treaty organizations as well as scientific research organizations provided briefings on a variety of subjects related to nuclear disarmament verification. Meeting attendees also visited Norway’s Institute for Energy Technology, where they saw firsthand the procedures and technologies developed for the UK-Norway Initiative on Nuclear Warhead Dismantlement Verification.
The Partners finalized Terms of Reference for each of the three working groups established under the Partnership, providing the framework for these groups to begin their technical discussions and work. The Terms of Reference for each working group will be made public shortly.
- Working Group 1 will initially consider objectives focused on the dismantlement phase of the nuclear weapons lifecycle, including the types of information and criteria needed to determine whether those objectives are being met, and the specific areas of expertise and resources required to support future work.
- Working Group 2 will draw lessons from existing on-site inspection regimes and assess the applicability of fundamental on-site inspection principles to possible future nuclear arms control agreements. The group will explore the knowledge and training inspectors and staff might require to do their jobs effectively and to manage on-site inspections to ensure they provide effective verification and monitoring while meeting national security and non-proliferation requirements.
- Working Group 3 will work to identify practical solutions to technical challenges related to nuclear warhead verification, including methods for nuclear warhead authentication, establishing and maintaining chain of custody, and authenticating necessary data and equipment. The group will survey existing efforts and technology and consider how parties can approach and overcome these challenges without revealing proliferation-sensitive information.
The three working groups will convene in February in Geneva. The Partners will receive an update from the Working Groups at the third IPNDV plenary which Japan has offered to host in Tokyo in 2016.