CHICAGO, March 22, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation today announced grants to 16 organizations totaling $13.4 million to help prevent nuclear terrorism and strengthen nuclear security around the globe. Much of the new funding will help to train and support an elite group of nuclear experts to make policy recommendations for preventing nuclear terrorism and enhancing nuclear non-proliferation. A major international Nuclear Security Summit takes place in Seoul next week.
"Despite all the attention given to nuclear hot spots like Iran and North Korea, interest in and action on improving nuclear safety and security remains tepid worldwide," said Robert Gallucci, President of the MacArthur Foundation. "MacArthur's grantmaking aims to support the people and institutions that can provide us with the research and know-how needed to keep nuclear energy safe and fissile materials out of dangerous hands."
A total of 16 organizations received grants:
- Harvard's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs received $2.48 million to support the Project on Managing the Atom, which trains the next generation of nuclear security policy experts, conducts policy research and analysis and informs the public and policymakers on nuclear issues.
- Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation was awarded $2.45 million. The bulk of this support, $2 million, will help the Center to train future nuclear security policy experts. Additional projects aim to significantly reduce the danger of fissile materials being stolen or diverted from Russia's nuclear complex, as well as encourage scientific cooperation between U.S. and Chinese scientists to enhance nuclear security in Chinese military and civilian nuclear programs.
- The Center for Science and Security Studies at King's College London received $1.65 million to train future nuclear experts.
- The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace received $1.3 million for work to dissuade countries from reprocessing and other dangerous fuel strategies, as well as to study the impact of high-precision conventional munitions on nuclear deterrence and strategic stability.
- The Nuclear Threat Initiative received $1 million, mostly for its Nuclear Materials Security Index—a first-of-its-kind public benchmarking project of nuclear materials security conditions on a country-by-country basis, which seeks to encourage governments to take actions to reduce risks.