April 12, 2010
Posted: 1646 GMT
It is an unprecedented summit in scope and one that will deal with trying to prevent would be catastrophic – and unprecedented – attack. U.S. President Barack Obama's nuclear summit in Washington will bring almost 50 heads of state together to discuss ways of making sure terrorists don't get their hands on nuclear weapons.
There are an estimated 1,600 tons of highly enriched uranium worldwide, and the vast majority of it is accounted for in admitted nuclear countries. And then there are other materials that are used in nuclear weaponry.
But the fear is that Pakistan, a nuclear power, will become so unstable that militants will somehow get their hands on nuclear weapons. Or even that North Korea will sell technology to terrorists. Or that a group like Al Qaeda will find a way to acquire enough material to build a so-called "dirty bomb" that will cause widespread damage and many deaths.
And American President Barack Obama is leading this effort with nuclear "street cred" : he has just signed a new START treaty with Russia, pledging a reduction of the U.S.'s nuclear warheads and has announced a revamped American nuclear military strategy.
Importantly, Barack Obama and Western leaders like French President Nicolas Sarkozy are hoping this summit, which takes place a month before a U.N. Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty conference, will help push through tougher sanctions against Iran, if it refuses to give up developing nuclear technology.
We are live in Washington with Jill Dougherty on that story.
Join us for that and the rest of the day's top stories.
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