FISSILE MATERIAL CUT OF TREATY

Abstract: 

FISSILE MATERIAL CUT OF TREATY PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE is a proposed treaty that ban the future production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons. Fissile material are highly enriched uranium and plutonium. These are essential material for producing nuclear and empowering nuclear reactors. The main purpose of Fissile Material Cut Of treaty is  to compel nuclear arms races for nuclear disarmament or nuclear nonproliferation.

In the are of FISSILE MATERIAL CUT OF TREATY PAST PRESENT AND FUTURE earliest work started after the end of world war two or before cold war. In postcold war era the work on FMCT got momentum but there are some problems on which countries object to support FMCT like it not talk about existing stockpiles of fissile material, it create problem for the national security of states and states like Pakistan objects FMCT.

FISSILE MATERIAL CUT OF TREATY
Introduction

FMCT is a proposed treaty that intend to ban the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons. Its purpose to compel nuclear arms races for nuclear disarmament. Fissile materials, are highly enriched uranium (HEU) and plutonium that are the essential elements for forming nuclear weapons and powering nuclear reactors.

It is also known as fissionable reaction because it can sustain an explosive fission chain reaction. The effective control and elimination of fissile materials is an essential step toward nuclear disarmament. In 2011, the worldwide stockpile of HEU was roughly 1440 tons, sufficient for roughly 60,000 simple nuclear fission.

Around 98percent of the worldwide stockpile of HEU is found within the nuclear Weapon States: the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and China. But these states officially declared an end to their fissile material production for weapons. China has unofficially halted its production while India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea are the only states that continue to produce fissile material for nuclear weapons.

Most earliest work began after world war two on control and end of fissile materials. The US authority came up with Baruch Plan (1946), to oversee development, manage nuclear installation and conduct research for peaceful purposes under the International Atomic Development Authority. And recited trademark of Atom for Peace (1953).

Throughout the 1960s, a ban on the production of fissile materials for military purposes was included in discussions covering a larger group of nonproliferation and arms control measures. United States submitted a working paper to the Eighteen Nation Committee on Disarmament that discussed the inspection of nuclear powers under a cutoff of fissionable material for use in weapons.

Despite the fact that work began on FISSILE MATERIAL CUT OF TREATY PAST PRESENT AND FUTURE during cold war period yet it got momentum in post-Cold War time. In September 1993 a statement to the United Nations General Assembly, US President Bill Clinton addressed the issue by saying that these materials were “raising the danger of nuclear terrorism in all nations”, President Clinton called for the negotiation of an international agreement to stop their production.

Shortly after that statement in December 1993 United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) passed a resolution 48/75L which stated the “Prohibition of the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices”, and recommended “the negotiation in the most appropriate international forum of a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapon and other nuclear explosives devices.

Moreover, Shannon Mandate of 1995 is also one of the major outcomes of the efforts to initiate FMT negotiations. This mandate establishes that the CD decides to establish an Ad Hoc Committee on a Ban on the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices to negotiate a non-discriminatory, multilateral international and effective verifiable treaty.

But the effort made for treaty failed and the agreement to begin negotiations in Conference on Disarmament (CD) broke down in 1995. Since then, there has been very little formal progress. There are three draft treaty texts which have been presented as documents of the CD, one submitted Greenpeace International in April 2004, other presented by the United States in May 2006, and a third in September 2009 by the International Panel on Fissile Material (IPFM).

United States president Barak Obama stated on FISSILE MATERIAL CUT OF TREATY PAST PRESENT AND FUTURE, that the United States will seek a new treaty that verifiably ends the production of fissile materials intended for use in state nuclear weapons. Furthermore, the TRUMP administration stated that it would support the negotiation of an FMCT at 2018 NPT Preparatory Committee.

FMCT have two obligations that is verification and exiting stock piles.

It is the obligation of treaty to verify fissile material production. Verification system is required to support effective implementation of the treaty. The system would have to include at least three components, each having a distinct verification mission

• verification at production facilities

• downstream verification to ensure non-use of declared fissile material for weapons

• detection of undeclared production facilities.

The first component of the verification system would include a set of measures implemented at production facilities either to ensure that they do not produce fissile materials or, if they do, that all produced material is properly declared and submitted to verification. The second component would follow the submitted fissile material “downstream” to ensure that it is not used in nuclear weapons or withdrawn for other purposes

Finally, the treaty would have to include arrangements to allow detection of covert fissile material production activity. Some of these measures would be an integral part of the routine monitoring activities at declared production facilities. However, it is important to emphasize that there is a widely shared understanding that the treaty should include other mechanisms, such as non-routine or challenge inspections, as well.

EXISTING STOCK

The question of whether the FISSILE MATERIAL CUT OF TREATY PAST PRESENT AND FUTURE should address the fissile materials that were produced before entry into force is one of the most divisive issues in the discussions on the future treaty. It is said that treaty impose no implications on it parties regarding existing stock nothing in the treaty would prevent a State from submitting any amount of its fissile material produced before entry into force to verification under the treaty. This material can be treated as new production or acquisition and the verification arrangements would ensure that it is not used for proscribed purposes.

There are a few elements that create barrier to achieve agreement. Differences on the question about existing stocks were one of the main reasons that negotiations stalled in 1995. There are still great differences between positions on this matter. The United States and the Russian Federation have the largest stockpiles, and most other states are waiting for these two to take the lead. The nuclear weapon states have either stated or indicated that existing stocks will not be included in the treaty. The point of the treaty is, according to those states, to quantitatively freeze the maximum level of nuclear material around the world.

Pakistan’s Stance On FISSILE MATERIAL CUT OF TREATY:

The proposed Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) would affect the P-5 states (the US, Britain, Russia, France, and China) in general and four non-NPT nuclear weapon states (Israel, India ,Pakistan and North Korea) in particular. As P-5 states have enough fissile material stocks at their disposal, FMCT is not going to affect their national interests.

As far as the five non-NPT nuclear weapon states are concerned, Israel is protected under the US diplomatic umbrella and its policy of nuclear ambiguity. India can build more stockpiles of fissile materials from its indigenous sources, having the privilege of the Indo-US Nuclear Deal of 2008. Thus, the only country that can be affected by this treaty is Pakistan.

Talking about the South Asian scenario, the animosity between India and Pakistan is a key feature for taking a security calculus of South Asian region. Pakistan regards its nuclear weapon capability to balance the Indian conventional superiority on one hand, and to maintain balance of power in the region on the other hand. The Indo-US Nuclear Deal would allow India to build further stocks of fissile materials from its domestic nuclear materials, causing the commencement of a new and greater arms race in South Asia.

Pakistan, therefore, would not support any treaty which is prejudiced to its supreme national interests. Pakistan asserts that FMCT will freeze existing asymmetries that’s why Pakistan concerns with the word FMT rather than FMCT.

Problem Statement:

Fissile Material Cut of Treaty is a treaty that ban the future production of fissile material but the problem occur in this treaty due to the existing stockpiles. Because treaty not talk about existing stockpiles or preexisting stock piles. It only work on the production and future production of fissile material.

Objective of the study:

• The objective of this study is to understand how FMCT control or banning the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons, limit the pool of materials available for manufacturing such weapons, therefore it benefiting the horizontal and vertical non-proliferation, and lowering the risk of diversion to terrorists.
• On the basis of Shannon Mandate “nondiscriminatory” regime, it is clear that the final outcome will need to satisfy non-nuclear weapon states that a fissile material treaty would have no discrimination in favor of the nuclear-weapon states. This factor reflects the view among non-nuclear-weapon states that the bargain underpinning their agreement to the NPT is not being honored by the nuclear weapon states.
• It would greatly boost the causes of nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation if a treaty covered existing stocks of fissile materials as well as future production.
• This main purpose of this treaty is to contain arm race.
Hypothesis:

Reducing the production of stockpiles of fissile material will bring world to nuclear nonproliferation.

Explanation of variables:

There are two variables independent and dependent. Independent variable is cause while dependent variable is effect. In this hypothesis independent variable is stockpile while dependent variable is nuclear nonproliferation. It means nuclear proliferation or nuclear nonproliferation dependent on stockpile of fissile material. If these stockpiles of fissile material reduced then it limit the nuclear proliferation.

Literature review:

FMCT and Pakistan: futuristic perspectives Malik Qassim Mustafa. The objective to make this world free of nuclear weapons can only be achieved if the tools for nuclear arms control and disarmament are implemented universally on the basis of non-discrimination and verified effectively. In this regard, one of the key tools or measure is to conclude a non-discriminatory, multilateral and international and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production and balancing the existing fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.

The desire to control fissile material and its production is as old as the dawn of nuclear age. However, since the last decade, especially after the end of the Cold War, the international community is negotiating to conclude a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT), or Fissile Material Treaty (FMT), and it is still one of the main proposed agenda on the 65- nation Conference on Disarmament (CD)

A Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty Understanding the Critical Issues. fissile material cut-off treaty (FMCT) is a proposed international agreement that would prohibit the production of the two main components of nuclear weapons: highly-enriched uranium (HEU) and plutonium. Discussions on this subject have taken place at the UN Conference on Disarmament (CD), a body of 65 member nations established as the sole multilateral negotiating forum on disarmament.

The CD operates by consensus and is often stagnant, impeding progress on an FMCT. Those nations that joined the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) as non-weapon states are already prohibited from producing or acquiring fissile material for weapons. An FMCT would provide new restrictions for the five recognized nuclear weapon states (NWS—United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France, and China), and for the four nations that are not NPT members (Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea).

Fissile Material Treaty (FMT): Implications for Pakistan By Syed Adnan Athar Bukhari. This paper is aimed at exploring the idea of Fissile Material Treaty (FMT) and its implications for Pakistan. The first part will deal with the definition of Fissile Materials, a brief background of FMT discussions at the United Nations Conference on Disarmament (UNCD).

The second part would highlight the implications of proposed FM(C)T for Pakistan. Paki-stan’s position will be discussed in the third part. Concluding remarks and recommendations will be given at the end.

Conclusion:

In international system, international security is multi-faceted, and there political interests and priorities are diverse. Fissile Material Cut Of Treaty is banning the production of fissile material but it only talk about to limit the production of fissile materials instead of eliminating the existing stockpiles of fissile materials. Treaty is not achieved properly due to the diverse political interest and priorities.

To achieve Fissile Material Cut of Treaty properly all nuclear states should now recognize the treaty and declare that they will never be the first to use nuclear weapon. This would open the way to the gradual, mutual reduction of nuclear arsenal down to zero.

References:

Fissile Material Treaty (FMT): Implications for Pakistan By Syed Adnan Athar Bukhari Research Paper No.51

FMCT and Pakistan: futuristic perspectives BY Malik Qassim Mustafa The writer is Research Fellow, the Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad.

A Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty Understanding the Critical Issues
A Fissile Material (Cut-Off) Treaty A Treaty Banning the Production of Fissile Materials for Nuclear Weapons or Other Nuclear Explosive Devices” Draft for Discussion Prepared BY the international panel on fissile materials

Written by: Sidra Zubai

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