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Archimedes' Dialogue Project

Nonproliferation - The Sharp End of the Spear

About this Dialogue

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is a landmark international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament. 

The NPT was opened for signature in 1968 and entered into force in 1970. Its membership includes 189 States Parties, making it the largest of any arms control Treaty in the world. The Treaty is underpinned by three "pillars"—nuclear non-proliferation, disarmament, and the peaceful use of nuclear energy—and is regarded as the legal and political cornerstone of the nuclear nonproliferation regime.

In this dialogue, John Dewes discusses the preparation and process involved in the removal of highly enriched uranium from research reactors and how the material is contained under appropriate controls.

About the Speaker

John Dewes is the Director of Global Security for the Savannah River National Laboratory. His organization is responsible for supporting various nonproliferation, counterterrorism, homeland security, and nuclear materials recovery programs around the globe. He received his Bachelors of Science in Nuclear Engineering from Purdue University in 1982, and a Master’s of Science in Nuclear Engineering from the University of South Carolina in 2008.

Mr. Dewes's previous assignments have included Fermi Nuclear Power Station, the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, and the Savannah River Site (SRS). At SRS, he has managed activities in all aspects of the fuel cycle, including Reactors, High Level Waste, and Environmental. He was detailed to Washington DC in 2004-2006, where he supported the Office of Global Threat Reduction. John is past Chair of the American Nuclear Society (ANS) Fuel Cycle & Waste Management Division and the Nuclear Nonproliferation Technical Group. John also served as the Accredited Representative to the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development for ANS. He is a Sustaining Member of the Institute for Nuclear Materials Management.

In both 2008 and 2013 he was awarded the Secretary of Energy’s Honor Award for his support of fissile material recoveries around the globe.  In 2014, Hungarian President János Áder awarded Mr. Dewes the Hungarian Golden Cross of Merit by for his efforts to reduce the threat of terrorism by eliminating highly enriched uranium from the country of Hungary. 

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