The Nuclear Control Instituteaddresses four basic contributors to the spread of nuclear weapons: 

  • the growing presence of atom-bomb materials in civilian nuclear power and research programs;
  • the behavior of nuclear-weapon states that stimulates or facilitates other states going nuclear;
  • the loopholes in U.S. nuclear-export laws and international nuclear agreements that permit the spread of nuclear-weapon materials and technology, and
  • the tensions that drive regional rivals to seek nuclear weapons.

In particular, we focus on the urgency of eliminating weapons-usable materials---plutonium and highly enriched uranium---from civilian nuclear programs and for disposing of excess stocks of these materials from military programs.

Among its initiatives, The Nuclear Control Institute is:

opposing Bush Administration efforts to reverse a 25-year policy against extracting plutonium from the spent fuel of U.S. commercial nuclear power plants ---as well as opposing the development of pyroprocessing and other experimental technologies for reprocessing of spent fuel;

advocating the direct disposal of excess U.S. and Russian warhead plutonium as waste instead of introducing it as fuel in civilian power reactors, thereby reducing risks of nuclear theft in Russia and thwarting efforts to revitalize the plutonium industry in the United States;

seeking the shutdown of spent-fuel reprocessing and plutonium-fuel programs in Europe and Japan, and opposing U.S. assistance to their plutonium programs;

seeking the shutdown of military plutonium-separation plants in the United States;

opposing U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) licensing of exports of bomb-grade, highly enriched uranium (HEU) fuel for overseas research reactors, except in compliance with U.S. law requiring that these reactors agree to convert to non-weapon-usable, low-enriched fuel as soon as possible;

opposing industry efforts to commercialize new nuclear-power plant designs such as the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor until the proliferation hazards of a rebirth of nuclear energy are fully examined;

opposing industry efforts to weaken NRC security requirements to protect against terrorist attacks on U.S. nuclear-power plants;

examining the threat of nuclear terrorism in the face of an emerging black market in plutonium and bomb-grade uranium, as recommended by NCI's International Task Force on Prevention of Nuclear Terrorism, which first identified nuclear terrorism as a major security risk;

examining ways to cap and eventually roll back the nuclear weapons programs of India and Pakistan and to prevent further development of nuclear weapons in Iraq, Iran and North Korea;

analyzing the limitations of international and national safeguards arrangements to detect or prevent diversions and thefts of plutonium from commercial plants for use in nuclear weapons;

advocating stricter international safety codes for transports of plutonium and highly radioactive waste and advising en-route countries of their legal rights under the "precautionary principle" in the face of safety, security and environmental risks associated with these shipments; and

maintaining our award-winning website to provide daily updates on the latest proliferation news and developments.