Nuclear materials and technologies find various peaceful applications like power generation, radiation therapy, food processing, and industrial applications. However nuclear materials and other radioactive substances can harm the people and the environment if used by non-authorized persons, in special if those material are acquired by terrorists this would be a serious threat for the World security.
Nuclear security deals with the prevention and detection of, and response to, theft, sabotage, unauthorized access, illegal transfer or other malicious acts involving nuclear material, other radioactive substances or their associated facilities. (IAEA reference)
Nuclear security is so far a national responsibility, what makes more difficult the implementation and assessment of standard international practices.
In recent years, with the increasing terrorism threat, nuclear security is getting more and more importance. This led the international community to apply greater efforts to minimize this threat.
President Obama, in a 2009 speech in Prague, Czech Republic, stressed that nuclear terrorism “is the most immediate and extreme threat to global security.” In his speech the President announced “a new international effort to secure all vulnerable nuclear material around the world” and that there would be “a Global Summit on Nuclear Security that the United States will host.” He launched then the global effort to improve the security regime.
Read more about nuclear security summits.