Israel came close to the bottom of a new survey examining the security conditions of nuclear materials held in 32 different countries.
Israel ranked 25th in the study, published by the Nuclear Threat Initiative, scoring 56 out of 100.
Australia was given the highest overall grade on the list of “countries with weapons-usable nuclear materials.” The study deemed Britain the most secure of the countries with nuclear weapons - a group the researchers say includes Israel - followed by the United States. The list concludes with North Korea; Pakistan and Iran are just above it, the latter receiving an overall score of 46.
In response, the Israel Atomic Energy Commission said Israel’s nuclear policy is known internationally to be responsible, restrained and under supervision by the government, Knesset and the state comptroller.
The Nuclear Threat Initiative’s report was timed to coincide with the Nuclear Security Summit to be held in late March in Seoul, South Korea. The organizers have invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the conference. No official response has been made but Netanyahu reportedly intends to send Intelligence and Atomic Energy Minister Dan Meridor. However, Meridor is not in charge of the Atomic Energy Commission; the head of that body, Shaul Horev, reports directly to Netanyahu.
The study rates each country according to five criteria: quantities and sites, security and control measures, global norms, domestic commitments and capacity, and societal factors.
Israel scored its highest average grade, 78, in security and control measures, which included 100s for security personnel measures, physical security during transportation and independent regulatory agency.
However, Israel was given low marks on pervasiveness of corruption, legislation and quantities of nuclear material.
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