Word of Buffett's foray into nuclear nonproliferation comes just one week after the passing of Samuel T. Cohen, creator of the neutron bomb, which served as a reminder to the world just how powerful its weaponry has become over the years. But how, exactly, will Buffett's millions ensure that the world never actually tests the bombs designed by Cohen or any other nuclear scientists? Surge Desk runs down the basics.
A new organization is born
Buffett donated his cash Friday to start a new plan. Called the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), the idea was approved by the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency today after the United States said it would match Buffett's donation, and other countries chipped in, as well, bringing the total raised to $150 million.
So how exactly is NTI going to prevent a nuclear holocaust?
A large part of the donations will be spent on stocking a nuclear-fuel bank with reactor-grade uranium, according to Bloomberg. Uranium, which provides the fuel for nuclear reactors, is in high demand across the globe, and supporters of the plan say that establishing a nuclear bank will be a disincentive for countries to set up their own uranium programs.
Hopefully, the initiative doesn't prove as overambitious as past nuclear disarmament plans. In April, the United States and Russia signed the New START pact, an arms-reduction treaty drafted largely in response to Iran's nuclear program, The New York Times reported. But the future of the treaty in the U.S. Senate remains uncertain as nations around the world intensify their nuclear programs.
Former Democrat Sen. Sam Nunn has been particularly vocal about the threat of nuclear weapons proliferation and the challenge of preventing nuclear stockpiles from building up and spreading. Check out a video of the senator discussing the issue below: