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Former IAEA Director General Talks About Nuclear Security, Safety and Disarmament Updated: 2011-11-29 12:00:00 KST

Former IAEA Director General Talks About Nuclear Security, Safety and Disarmament
[Reporter : ] It is a great pleasure to meet you Dr. Blix.
First of all, what plans do you have as a member of the advisory group for President Lee Myung-bak ahead of the Nuclear Security Summit next year[Interview : Hans Blix, Former IAEA Director General] The summit began, the first one was in Washington 2010. So this is a followup. And the aim of President Obama at the time was to make sure that there would be no nuclear material, whether highly enriched uranium or plutonium or cobalt or cesium lying around or being trafficked and getting into the hands of non-state actors who could misuse, to make dirty bombs or to make any nuclear weapons. We had the Fukushima accident since the Washington affair and I think that has also raised some new questions that if a power plant releases radioactivity, that is a serious thing. I think Fukushima should remind people not only that we need to further improve safety of nuclear power plants, but also that we need to act for nuclear disarmament. The world is spending at the present time about 1,500 billion dollars a year on military expenses and they can not scrape together 100 billion dollars that is needed for fund to defend the planet against global warming. So I think that the statesmen meeting at the summit, they should commit themselves, not only to combat terrorists, but also to reduce their own military expenditures.

[Reporter : ] How can we heighten control over nuclear materials being taken into the hands of non-state actors such as terrorist groups and how can track down materials that end up in the hands of terrorist groups[Interview : Hans Blix, Former IAEA Director General] We began to see this problem when I was still Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna in the early 90s. Because the Soviet Union fell apart, and we saw then a lot of trafficking. Most of these things were just scams. But there were also cases of highly enriched uranium or plutonium, who really buys them is really hard to know. Libya is no longer there. And I'm not aware of any particular terrorist organization that has bought them. But police control is one way and customs control and borders. You have new machines examining what goes through the borders, so one can clamp down on it and so far I don't think we have seen any terror effects of it.

[Reporter : ] In your view, should the Nuclear Security Summit expand to address issues of nuclear weapons and material possession by state actors outside the NPT[Interview : Hans Blix, Former IAEA Director General] Outside the NPT, well that means in fact Israel and India and Pakistan. I don't think that it is very useful to do so. These are separate problems. They are big problems and they are being discussed elsewhere. Maybe summit participants will talk privately about it. But there are other fora for it at the UN and et cetera. This coming year 2012, there will be a conference in Helsinki about the nuclear weapons free zone in the Middle East. So at least the issue is on the agenda.

[Reporter : Choi You-sun
yschoi@arirang.co.kr] Any final remarks regarding nuclear security before we wrap up this interview[Interview : ] As long as the big nuclear weapons states continue to keep enormous amount of weapons, I think those who have proliferated like North Korea, like others, they may say well what morale right do they have to tell us to do this. So I think disarmament, if it is successful, gives a better morale basis for telling North Korea that it should stay away from nuclear weapons.

[Reporter : ] Thank-you very much, Dr. Blix.
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