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  Library Treaties Non-Proliferation Treaty, Fissile Material Cut Off Treaty, April 29, 1998

Fissile Material Cut Off Treaty

A fissile material cut-off treaty should not be seen as a stand-alone instrument like the CTBT which seeks to address fissile material issues in one fell swoop, but rather as a framework instrument which evolves over time into a comprehensive regime governing the production, stockpiling, management and disposition of fissile material.

If a fissile material cut-off treaty is to be a genuine disarmament measure which will contribute to the fulfilment of the objectives of Article VI of the NPT - as Parties the NPT agreed that it should be in 1995 - then it will have to be capable of evolving in tandem with other disarmament measures, in a series of incremental steps.

A first step in the development of this regime would be a treaty to ban the production of fissile

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1998 NPT Index

material for use in nuclear weapon.

This is a step which can - and should - be taken now, to ensure that the   nuclear-weapon states' current willingness to cease production of fissile material   cannot be reversed.

It is difficult to envisage significant further progress towards nuclear disarmament which does not include, sooner or later, measures to address both fissile material production facilities and fissile material stockpiles.

For this reason, the conclusion of a first treaty codifying a ban on the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons should be followed by a second agreement providing for greater transparency over fissile material inventories and gradually bringing fissile material stocks under strict and effective international control.

This too should be an evolving instrument which tracks other nuclear   disarmament measures and progressively brings direct-use fissile material into the   scope of a fissile material regime.

An important objective of this progressive approach will be to make disarmament measures irreversible by ensuring that fissile material no longer needed is not available for military use again.

This fissile material regime will require an innovative, multifaceted approach involving a balance of bilateral, plurilateral and appropriate international and possibly regional arrangements for nuclear material made excess to military requirements.