Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty

September 4, 1998

First in a Series of Technical Briefs

What are the benefits of a fissile material cutoff treaty (FMCT)?

An FMCT would be an international instrument which serves both non-proliferation and disarmament objectives. Both of these aspects are integral to the successful implementation of an FMCT.

Non-proliferation benefits include:
· ending production of fissile material for nuclear explosives in non-NPT member states, including India, Israel, and Pakistan;

· creating an international norm which adds another barrier for any state seeking to acquire fissile material for weapons; and

· further supporting the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, whose parties called for the completion of an FMCT at the 1995 Review and Extension Conference, and which is the backbone of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime.

Disarmament benefits include:
· codifying and verifying commitments by the nuclear weapons states (the United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia, and China) to cease production of fissile material for weapons;

· implementing a step necessary to making significant verified reductions in nuclear arsenals;

· bringing nuclear weapon states’ commitments closer to the commitments of the non-nuclear weapon states, as embodied in the NPT;

· placing safeguards on facilities in nuclear weapons states which have traditionally been exempt from safeguards;

· establishing an effective web of controls in the nuclear weapons states which justifies international confidence; and

· contributing to the enhancement of the process of accounting for past production of fissile materials, declaring materials excess to weapons needs, and permanently disposing of this material.
For more information, contact Corey Gay at (202)547-2696 or

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