How the project started

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How the project started

First Nuclear Security Summit 2010

The Forensics in Nuclear Security Project was set up as a direct result of the First Nuclear Security Summit, held in Washington DC (USA) in 2010 at the initiative of US President Barack Obama. The purpose of this Summit was to bring world leaders together to consider ways of combating the threat of nuclear terrorism and nuclear smuggling.

The Netherlands and nuclear forensics

Following the Summit, many countries offered to contribute to an extensive programme of measures. For its part, the Netherlands government undertook to conduct a study into the state of nuclear forensics and to make proposals for ways of improving international cooperation in this field.

The field of forensics in nuclear security is one to which the Netherlands can make a significant contribution, thanks to the forensic expertise that has been developed over many years at the Netherlands Forensic Institute in The Hague. The topic of nuclear smuggling is particularly relevant to the Netherlands’ situation, given the location within its borders of the Port of Rotterdam, the world’s third busiest port, and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, one of Europe’s busiest airline hubs.

Presentation of results

Following preparatory meetings in Buenos Aires (2010) and Vienna (2011), the results of the Dutch study and the proposals based on them were presented in a White Paper at a preliminary meeting in Marrakech in February 2012. They are officially presented by the Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, at the Second Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul (South Korea), held on 26-27 March, 2012.


The work on Sharing Knowledge involves bringing together the expertise and insight currently present in many national and international organisations. Reflecting this broad scope, besides the NFI, the following organisations have already agreed to play a significant part in the project:

  • International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
  • Interpol
  • International Technical Working Group (ITWG)
  • The Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT)
  • UN Interregional Crime and Justice research UNICRI)
  • The Dutch National Coordinator for Counter-Terrorism and Security
  • The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The current state of nuclear forensics