On Thursday and Friday, delegations will be arriving in Washington for the National Security Summit 2016.
More than 50 world leaders will come together in Washington on March 31 for the global summit to discuss ways to combat nuclear terrorism. With three previous summits (the last one that was held in 2010), the summit discusses ways as to how nuclear materials can be kept out of the hands of terrorists.
But the event could also see massive gridlocks for commuters.
The federal Office of Personnel Management is asking people that they telework or resort to ways that will prevent them from using the commute times at peak hours. “To help alleviate traffic congestion and minimize distraction to law enforcement and security officials, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is urging agencies to permit employees to use their workplace flexibility options,” the website for OPM stated. “Accordingly, OPM strongly encourages agencies to allow employees to telework to keep the Federal Government operating while helping to minimize traffic congestion and support law enforcement efforts during this event,” the website added.
With regard to the street closures, the Secret Service said in a press release, “Although we do not control scheduled events, we always strive to limit the impact on pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic to make street and highway closures as brief as possible. Despite our best efforts, there are occasions where we cause inconveniences to the public due to necessary security measures. When these situations occur, we do our utmost to make them the shortest duration possible.”
According to the Washington Post, the issuance of media warnings in previous events – such as the papal visit in September, storms during winters and the one day closure of Metrorail – have helped commuters to take necessary actions to avoid getting caught in jams. The publication noted that, in 2010, a number of commuters chose to avoid employment centers in the District – the reason why there weren’t as many traffic disruptions. Consequently, traffic on the main commuter routes wasn’t affected as severely as it could have due to closures of streets and parking restrictions.
However, as The Huffington Post noted, the summit will affect people a lot more than cause traffic disruptions. As many as 1500 kilograms of highly enriched uranium (HEU) and separated plutonium have been recovered or gotten rid off. Since April 2009, when President Barack Obama initiated the summit process, 15 countries have become HEU-free.
The usage of radioactive materials is not only restricted to bombs and explosive materials. They are used in a variety of sectors like energy production, medicine and research. Almost 10 percent of the world’s electricity is produced through nuclear power plants, a number which may expand with more countries resorting to carbon free ways of energy production.