chapter  16
14 Pages

A Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty and the Future of Nuclear Arms Control

The essential ingredient for all nuclear weapons is a core of highly enriched uranium (HEU) or plutonium, known as fissile materiaJ.2 Since the end of the Cold War, the five nuclear weapon states are all assumed to have stopped (or almost stopped) the production of fissile material on a unilateral basis. 1 Moreover, [our of them (the United States, Russia. France, and the United Kingdom) have declared unilateral. unlimited moratoriums on future production.4 Taking this good news for granted, some have argued that the need and the momentum for a Fissile Material Cut-Otf Treaty (FMCT) have vanished in terms of nuclear disarmament.s

Moreover, the other benefits expected in the field of nuclear non-proliferation are often portrayed as either negligible or counterproductive, as the proposed FMCT does not address existing stockpiles of material. It would accordingly signal a de facto recognition of the three nuclear-capable states (Israel, India, and Pakistan) and thus undermine the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the regime as a whole.