Blog Post - Nuclear Security Matters

ICYMI: CPPNM Amendment Entry Into Force

Aug. 03, 2016

By Nickolas Roth

On May 8, after more than a decade, the 2005 amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) entered into force. The amendment summarizes nuclear security principles and obligates states to develop rules and regulations for physical protection. It also requires a review conference five years after entry into force and, if members decide to have them, more review conferences at least every five years. The amended CPPNM, now officially known as the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Nuclear Facilities, could be a useful tool for states to hold each other accountable for maintaining physical protection and strengthening international nuclear security norms. 

In a speech marking the occasion, International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano stated, "The Amendment makes it legally binding for countries to protect nuclear facilities, as well as nuclear material in domestic use, storage and transport. Entry into force will help reduce the risk of a terrorist attack involving nuclear material, which could have catastrophic consequences. The Agency has worked hard, in particular in the last few years, to encourage countries to adhere to the Amendment...Under the Amendment, countries are required to establish appropriate physical protection regimes for nuclear material. They also take on new obligations to share information on sabotage, and credible threats of sabotage. The entry into force of the Amendment demonstrates the determination of the international community to act together to strengthen nuclear security globally. However, there are still a large number of countries which are not parties to the Amendment. So I continue to urge all States to adhere to this important legal instrument. Universal implementation of the amended Convention will help to ensure that nuclear material throughout the world is properly protected against malicious acts by terrorists."

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: ICYMI: CPPNM Amendment Entry Into Force.” Nuclear Security Matters, August 3, 2016,