IPFM releases Global Fissile Material Report 2010

International Panel on Fissile Materials has published Global Fissile Material Report 2010: Balancing the Books (pdf copy). The report provides detailed new estimates of the historic production and current holdings of highly enriched uranium and plutonium for China, France, India, Israel, Pakistan and Russia - the six nuclear weapon states that have not declared their holdings - and critically reviews the official declarations of fissile material production and stocks by the United States and the United Kingdom. It also provides data on highly enriched uranium and plutonium in the non-weapon states.

Accurate information on highly enriched uranium and plutonium production and stocks is necessary to support progress on nuclear disarmament. The new report strengthens the case for all nuclear weapon states to make public more information about their fissile material production history and stockpiles. The estimates also suggest that current fissile material stockpiles are larger than are required to support today's nuclear weapons arsenals and the weapon states could declare significant amounts of fissile material as excess to military use.

A second significant conclusion in the Report is that since most weapon states have ended fissile material production for nuclear weapons, these countries could foster transparency and confidence about past fissile material production activities by developing cooperative initiatives to apply methods of "nuclear archaeology" to some of their shutdown production facilities. Such methods eventually will be essential to verify country declarations of fissile material holdings.

This is the fifth and most extensive annual IPFM Global Fissile Material report.