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President Clinton has announced that the United States will take a comprehensive approach to the growing global accumulation of fissile material. As an element to that approach, he proposed a multilateral convention banning production of such material for nuclear-explosives purposes or outside international safeguards. This report examines and proposes some "next steps" to the proposed convention, to further strengthen worldwide control of weapon-usable material. These next steps would have two main objectives. The first would be to reduce or to transfer to secure custody current plutonium and highly enriched uranium stockpiles. The second would be to prohibit or to restrict to fewer locations the production of these materials. The report also analyzes the political and economic obstacles that might hinder negotiation of these next steps, and it suggests measures that would mitigate these obstacles. The U.S. proposal is described first, then the report quantifies various countries' inventories and ability to produce weapon-usable material.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    The U.S. Proposal

  • Chapter Three

    Third World Inventories and Ability to Produce Weapon-Usable Material

  • Chapter Four

    The Proposed Convention's Effect on Proliferation

  • Chapter Five

    Next Steps: Options, Obstacles, and Mitigating Measures

  • Chapter Six

    Conclusion

  • Appendix

The project was conducted under the International Security and Defense Policy Center of RAND's National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, and the defense agencies.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

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