When the Initiative began in 2007, it was the first time a Nuclear Weapon State and a Non-Nuclear-Weapon State had worked together to explore the challenges of nuclear weapon arms control and disarmament verification.

Since the beginning, the Initiative has demonstrated that much can be done by all states, without breaching their obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to research technologies and methodologies that could provide solutions to nuclear arms control and disarmament challenges. A guiding principle of our work has always been that it should be open for others to use, to build on, and to improve; and so we hope that this repository of information will help others to make their own contribution to one of the most pressing challenges of our time.

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Future disarmament verification activities may well require the deployment of technical equipment into sensitive facilities. Hosts need to control the safety and security of these facilities, while inspectors need to be confident that they have the information they need. It is important to find a way that both parties can trust this equipment, even if they do not completely trust each other, and so we began this technical project to explore the issues in practice.

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Between 2008 and 2010 the UKNI developed and ran three exercises – two in Norway and one in the UK, at the Burghfield nuclear weapons facility – with the aim of exploring the challenges associated with deploying inspectors into sensitive nuclear facilities. While some of these issues had been examined by other research groups in previous years, this was the first time that Non-Nuclear-Weapon State participation had been the focus of research.

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These exercises looked more closely at the human factors involved in inspection activities. They particularly focused on the way that personal interactions between inspectors and hosts affected the trust between them, and the impact, if any, on the success of verification activities.

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In 2011 the UKNI hosted an international workshop, inviting delegates from twelve Non-Nuclear-Weapon States and the US. We reported on experiences and lessons from the Initiative, and paid particular attention to ways that Non-Nuclear-Weapon States could become more involved in nuclear disarmament verification.

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