NPT, Export Controls and Nuclear Trade

- Savita Pande


The nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), according to Western authors, provided the first comprehensive framework for nuclear trade. Prior to the NPT negotiations, there was no concerted effort to achieve a comprehensive agreement on nuclear trade.1 It is also true that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards system was gaining broader international support in the 1960s, that the Euratom Treaty governed nuclear trade among the original six member countries of the European Community and that regular discussions were held among uranium producers. But at that time nuclear trade policy was primarily a national affair and specifically a United States affair, since her industries dominated nuclear trade and technology.2 That trend, in fact, continued for a long time.

The NPT, and specifically Articles I and IV, therefore, provided the first broad political framework for the conduct of nuclear trade. Articles I and II contained main pledges not to transfer, seek access to or in any way assist in the spread of nuclear weapons. Articles III and IV outlined the control—the safeguards that would be applied under the treaty, with Article III.1 and Article III.2 covering safeguards on trade with countries inside and outside the treaty respectively. More specifically, the rights and obligations of nuclear suppliers to impose licensing requirements on the transfer of items usable for, or in, nuclear activities derive from Article III.2 of the NPT. Accordingly, each state party to the treaty undertakes not to provide:

(a) source or special fissionable material;

(b) equipment or material especially designed or prepared for reprocessing, use or production of special fissionable material, to any non-nuclear weapon state for peaceful purposes, unless the source or special fissionable material shall be subject to the safeguards required by this Article.

Article IV enunciated non-nuclear weapon states parties' right of access to nuclear technologies, materials and equipment for peaceful purposes.

Several ambiguities exist over the obligations imposed upon exporters under these Articles. The treaty does not proscribe non-nuclear weapon states from assisting other non-nuclear weapon states to acquire nuclear weapons, so long as safeguards are required for export of any fissionable material or especially designed or prepared equipment or material. Secondly, since the safeguards requirement is for items transferred for peaceful purposes, this means that a transfer for non-explosive military purposes is justified and not subject to safeguards. The possibility was discussed extensively when Canada considered buying nuclear submarines and their fuel from the United Kingdom or France. The interpretation as it stands now means that safeguards must follow the transferred item until the very moment it is introduced unambiguously into the military activities not forbidden under the treaty.3

A third ambiguity in Article III.2 was inserted consciously. It is the requirement that only the transfer of "equipment or material especially designed or prepared for the processing, use or production of special fissionable material "should trigger the exporter's request for safeguards. The constraint in this formulation resulted from the desire of industrialised non-nuclear weapon states to prevent their nuclear industries—domestic and export oriented—from being placed in a disadvantageous competitive position in comparison with those of the nuclear weapon states. The negative consequence, however is that the phrase was interpreted as meaning that no overt restrictions are placed on either the uncontrolled transfer of nuclear-usable technology—as opposed to the "equipment and material"—or the export of dual-use items which may have non-nuclear applications but are also instrumental in a nuclear weapon programme.4

Article III was further underpinned by both the IAEA's introduction in 1971 of INFCIRC/153, a document which underlined the Full Scope Safeguards (FSS) which non-nuclear weapon states parties must accept, and by the Zangger Committee's publication of a trigger list to which safeguards would be applied. The Zangger Committee was a nuclear exporters committee of a group of suppliers, which had met for several years in the early Seventies. In August 1974, they informed the Director General that they had agreed upon "a trigger list" of categories of equipment or material which would, if exported to a non-nuclear weapon state not party to the NPT, trigger the application of IAEA safeguards on the "source or special fissionable material produced, processed or used in the facility for which the item is supplied" and the material shall "not be used or diverted to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices."5 In addition, it is required that the importing country provide satisfactory assurances in the event of re-export to another non-nuclear weapon state not a party to the NPT that safeguards would also be applied to the country receiving re-export.6 The Zangger Committee also endorsed the interpretation of Article III.2 that did not require NPT exporters to insist on FSS when dealing with countries outside the treaty. They merely had to insist that INFCIRC/66/Rev.2 safeguards would apply to materials and facilities directly linked to any trading activities.

Emergence of Export Controls

Support for the NPT was by no means universal and its trade rules seemed no longer adequate in the wake of the turmoil caused by the Indian nuclear explosion of in 1974. A direct reaction to this was the creation of the London Suppliers Club, later known as the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). The countries initially involved were Canada, France, the FRG, Japan, the UK, the USA and the USSR. The primary objective of the NSG was to draw France into conforming to the export control requirements imposed upon the NPT parties. France was not a party to the NPT at that time, nor was it represented in the Zangger Committee discussed above.7

An outline agreement had already been reached by 1976, at which time eight other states (Belgium, Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, and Switzerland) had joined the consultations. In early 1978, using a procedure similar to that adopted by the Zangger Committee, all countries involved sent letters to the Director General of the IAEA to inform that they would abide by the principles which had already been agreed to in 1977. The Guidelines for the Export of Nuclear Material, Equipment or Technology (the so-called London Guidelines for Nuclear Transfers) are contained in the IAEA document INFICIRC/254.8 These guidelines which apply only to exports of non-nuclear weapon states, placed more stringent requirements on nuclear exports than the Zangger Committee understandings and included requirements of assurances of non-explosive use on the part of recipients, safeguards, as well as the control of re-transfer.9

The Zangger list in the form it had taken by the end of 1978 was incorporated to Annex A, the trigger list of the London Guidelines, which also includes common criteria for technology transfer under the guidelines.

The three basic principles of the guidelines are: (a) the transfer of items on the trigger list should be authorised only after formal assurances from the governments of the recipients, which explicitly excludes uses which would result in a nuclear explosive device; (b) materials and facilities appearing in the trigger list should be "placed under effective physical protection to prevent unauthorised use and handling;" and (c) trigger list items should only be transferred when covered by appropriate IAEA safeguards.10

The guidelines stipulate that these three requirements should also apply to facilities for reprocessing, enrichment or heavy water production, which utilise technology "directly transferred from the supplier or derived from transferred facilities, or major critical components thereof." In addition, the transfer of any such facilities or major critical components thereof or related technology requires that IAEA safeguards also apply to any facilities of the same type which may also be constructed and that a safeguards agreement allow the IAEA to apply safeguards to facilities identified as using transferred technology.11

The guidelines also urge suppliers to exercise restraint in the transfer of sensitive technology, facilities and weapon usable material. A supplier nation must be informed if an enrichment facility or technology is to be operated in such a manner as to produce uranium enriched to greater than 20 per cent U235. This also applies to facilities based on such supplied technology.

There is also a prior consent clause calling on suppliers and recipients to agree on arrangements for reprocessing, storage, alteration, use, transfer or re-transfer of weapon-usable material which had been transferred or derived from transferred facilities. This, however, was not a firm commitment; suppliers were asked to endeavour to include such provisions whenever practicable.

Unanimous consent is required if any of the guidelines are required to be changed. An important point to note is that the guidelines did not stipulate FSS. While FSS were recommended by the UK and the USSR in a joint proposal, objections by France, the FRG and Japan foreclosed the adoption of such an agreement. The guidelines are implemented through national mechanisms of legislation and enforcement leaving open the possibility of differences in interpretation and application. Provisions for consultation to minimise such effects was included in the guidelines but, in fact, other than isolated bilateral consultations, the NSG did not meet again until 1991 by which time the Zangger list had been systematically updated so that it had become more detailed than the NSG list.12

Impact on Nuclear Trade

In terms of effect, non-compliance was the name of the game, at times because of the loopholes in the structure of the treaty; at others it was due to deliberate negligence in the name of national interest or the supremacy of commercial interests (allegedly beyond the control of national governments). The Indian nuclear explosion was a major blow to the developments related to the NPT. Although India was a non-signatory to the NPT, it was believed that India was unlikely to have been in a position to manufacture a device "that soon" if the undertaking under Article I, not "in any way "to assist any non-nuclear weapon state to manufacture nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, had been fully respected.13 The fissile material for the Indian explosive device was obtained from a Canadian-supported reactor with the use of US-supplied heavy water.

From 1970-75, the United States and other nuclear suppliers continued to supply source or special fissionable material to members of Euratom, India, Japan and other non-parties to the NPT without their being subjected to IAEA safeguards. While such sales may not constitute actual legal violation, they made a mockery of the treaty by proving to be more favourable to the non-parties.

The more direct blow to the treaty came from Germany, a non-nuclear weapon state party to the treaty. Nuclear equipment, material and technology were transferred without safeguards by the German firms to India (beryllium and heavy water), Pakistan (enrichment technology, maraging steel, enrichment equipment, uranium hexafluoride containers, tritium, tritium extraction and purification technology) and South Africa. Switzerland sometimes was used as a transit stage by subsidiaries of FRG firms.14

The 1975 Brazil-German nuclear deal is noteworthy. It envisaged construction of eight nuclear power plants and transfer of complete nuclear-fuel cycle technology. Brazil undertook not to use the technological information received, including that on plutonium reprocessing, for the manufacture of nuclear weapons, and, therefore, appropriate safeguards were devised to ensure compliance with the undertaking. Though unaffected by the termination of the cooperation agreements, the safeguards were applicable only to the equipment, installations and materials supplied by the FRG. While Brazil was under no equal obligation that would prevent it from constructing an unsafeguarded fuel cycle, German supplies of sensitive elements to Brazil were at variance with the "non-assistance" clause of the NPT. The significance of this became clear subsequently when Brazil's "parallel programme" came to be known though it was not officially acknowledged till 1987.15

Yet another case was that of South Africa, where France (a non-party but which had promised to behave as one), despite knowing about the former's nuclear programme, agreed to meet the fuel fabrication requirements of the Koeberg reactors. The French argument was that this would not add to the nuclear weapon capability, since South Africa already had the capability16

Again, the United States, despite having full knowledge of Pakistan's clandestine nuclear weapon programme, did not stop aid to it till 1990, as was required under the Symington Amendment, purely for political reasons. This despite the fact that krytone switches were brought from the US. The said action requires the President to certify that the country "does not possess" nuclear weapon devices.17

The same is the case with Israel. It has been stated and rightly so that" via economic assistance and military sales, the US taxpayer bore the expenditure for its Dimona complex."18 Worse still, strategic cooperation between the two was extended to the Strategic Defence Initiative in 1985—this included technologies applicable to improving nuclear weapon delivery.19

To this must be added the fact that the US discovered that its Department of Energy had, through lax security standards, given information on detonations, explosives and firing sites with possible nuclear applications to citizens of Argentina, India, Israel, Pakistan, South Africa and Taiwan.

The Argentine programme was yet another kind of a peculiarity. The enrichment as well as reprocessing plants at Pilcaniyu and Ezeiza have been constructed with assistance from Swiss, Italian and American companies. The Swiss companies which have aided in the project have done it under the impression given to them that the facility was a relatively innocent plant to produce Zirconium, the metal used in stealth reactor fuel.20

Between 1978 and 1980, Libya exported significant quantities of uranium concentrate (yellow cake), apparently bought from Nigeria, not subject to IAEA monitoring. Although Libya ratified the treaty in 1975, it was not until 1980 that the safeguards agreement with the IAEA was concluded and that it was able to import and export the nuclear material without IAEA safeguards.21 Again, when Libya set up its nuclear research centre at Tajoura, a large percentage of its electronic instrumentation was obtained from Swiss, West German, and American companies.22

In 1981, the United States asked the FRG to stop the Hampel group in Dusseldorf from sending enriched uranium to South Africa and heavy water to Argentina. Switzerland in 1985 and the United States in 1986 questioned the export of heavy water to India. In 1988, Norway asked about Hampel's sale of Norwegian heavy water to India through Basel. In every case, the FRG refused to provide information, investigate or acknowledge any gap in the laws. A Frankfurt-based firm sold 95kg of beryllium of US origin to India.23 Two high powered lasers were re-exported from the United States to Pakistan.24 Romania was reported to have illegally trans-shipped Norwegian heavy water to Israel to collect hard currency. The Norwegian queries to clear the matter have not been answered by the Romanian authorities.25

The more recent cases of nuclear trade despite the regime include the supply of 5,000 ring magnets by China to Pakistan even after the former acceded to the NPT. The magnets were to be used in the centrifuge plant in A.Q. Khan Laboratories in Pakistan. The United States is also trying to put pressure on China to cancel a reactor deal with Iran, and on Russia to cancel the deal on a nuclear reactor to India. There were, of course, some "success" stories, i.e., the nuclear weapon powers were able to get a transaction pertaining to nuclear proliferation cancelled.In 1976, the United States succeeded in getting the Franco-South Korean contract for the supply of a reprocessing plant dropped, despite the fact that Seoul had entered into a safeguards agreement with France and the IAEA that would have covered the reprocessing plant. Similarly, the United States also succeeded in getting the Franco-Pakistani deal for a reprocessing plant cancelled. Again the US succeeded in getting an India-Iran deal for a research reactor cancelled. The Belgian nuclear deal for sale of uranium tetrafluoride and other non-nuclear equipment was also cancelled. The United States was also successful in dissuading Taiwan from continuing its reprocessing programme. In 1988, it agreed to dismantle the plant and start a 40 MW research reactor.26

The Debate Continues

While on the one hand the nuclear trade transactions showed scant respect for the existing rules, debate continued in the NPT and other similar fora on the need to regulate it. The work of the Zangger Committee was mentioned in the Final Declaration of the First NPT Review Conference in 1975. It noted: "A number of state suppliers of nuclear material or equipment have adopted certain minimum, standard requirements for IAEA safeguards in connection with their exports of certain such items to non-nuclear weapon states not party to the Treaty".27 The document went on to urge that all nuclear exports should be subject to strict observation of NPT rules and urged that "in all achievable ways, common export requirements relating to safeguards be strengthened, in particular by extending the application of safeguards to all peaceful nuclear activities in important states not party to the Treaty."28

However, consensus on comprehensive IAEA safeguards, as a condition of nuclear supply, could not be achieved in 1975, due to the resistance of some suppliers.

By the end of the 1970s, nuclear trade policy was in a state of considerable disarray. The NPT rules had come to be regarded as insufficient, the guidelines ran contrary to the spirit of cooperation in trade and development between suppliers and recipients, and the leading suppliers could not agree among themselves as to what constituted the conduct of trade—a situation from which there is no fundamental change.

Following the outcry that greeted the publication of the guidelines, the Carter Administration convened the Nuclear Fuel Evaluation (INFCE) which all states were invited to attend. But this was essentially an exercise in pacification. No real results emerged, except that any proliferation-proof fuel-cycle existed. Strong criticism of the trade control rules by the developing countries led to initiation of two efforts to seek a consensus in nuclear trade. The first was the creation of an IAEA Committee on Assurances of Supply (CAS). The second was the 1987 Conference on Promoting International Conference in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy (UNCPICPUNE). Both failed for similar reasons: inability to bridge the gap between the ambitions of suppliers and need perceptions of the recipients. Nothing much came out of discussions on the International Plutonium Storage or of the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material opened up for signature in 1980.29

The Main Committee II of the Third NPT Review Conference in 1985 urged that FSS should be extended to all states and urged that states not party to the treaty should accept them. There was an initial failure to reach consensus within the committee on language urging exporting states to make FSS a condition of supply, but West Germany, Belgium and Switzerland later accepted milder language urging exporting states to take effective steps towards achieving a commitment to FSS from all their trading partners.30 The draft Final Declaration of the Review Conference in 1990 required suppliers to impose FSS as a condition. At another point, the draft Final Declaration of the Review Conference in 1990 required suppliers to impose FSS as a condition. At another point, the draft urged "all States Parties to ensure their exports to non-nuclear weapon states do not assist any nuclear weapon programme. "The draft document stated:" The conference recommended that the list of items triggering IAEA safeguards and the procedures for implementation be reviewed from time to time to take into account advances in technology and changes in procurement practice. The conference recommends the State Parties to consider further ways to improve the measures to prevent diversion of nuclear technology for nuclear weapons, other nuclear explosive purposes or nuclear weapon capabilities."31

Thus the suppliers were given a broad mandate to tighten export controls. In another paragraph, it also sought "early consultations among states to ensure that their supply and export controls are appropriately coordinated."32

An important development at the Fourth Review Conference was the anouncement by Germany of a policy of application of FSS as a condition of supply. France announced its adherence to this policy in October 1991. The same policy was then accepted by Belgium, Switzerland and the UK. By March 1992, President Yeltsin of Russia had announced that the newly created Russian Federation had accepted the provision of FSS.33

Iraq and After

The most serious blow to the NPT and the export control regime came from revelations in Iraq. Iraq's own violation of its commitment under the treaty and the role played by foreign suppliers, a la Pakistani style, demonstrated the efficacy (or the lack of it) of the existing NSG guidelines.

One consequence of these development was that in April 1992, after a year of negotiations, 27 nuclear supplier countries meeting in Warsaw accepted several additions to the existing common export guidelines, First, a list of dual-use items was drawn up for use as the basis for new national export licensing regulations. These were laid out in the 1992 guidelines for transfer of nuclear related dual-use equipment, material and related technology (INFCIRC/Rev.1/Part2). Second, a Memorandum of Understanding was agreed upon, dealing with exchanges of information on the procurement activities of potential recipient countries. Finally, a statement was issued concerning comprehensive or FSS safeguards becoming a standard condition of supply. Amendments to the 1977 trigger list were made.

The defined objectives include prevention of transfer of capabilities "for use in a non-nuclear-weapon state in a nuclear explosive activity". Even a "risk of use "in these activities can lead to denial of licence. The guidelines seek to promote international cooperation to the extent that non-proliferation objectives are not impeded.34

The dual-use guidelines make it obligatory for states to establish national licensing procedures for export of listed goods. They call for "caution" in granting a licence and specify criteria which would justify such caution. These criteria include whether a state is a party to the NPT or the Tlateloco Treaty or similar regional non-proliferation treaty or has accepted the application of comprehensive IAEA safeguards within its territory. They also include appropriateness of the capability to be transferred for the declared end-use and the plausible end-use, use of transferred capabilities in connection with any reprocessing and enrichment facility, support by the recipient country for the nuclear non-proliferation regime and compliance with its international obligation under it and no previous illegal purchasing activities or misuse of transfers by the recipient.

Prior to issuing a licence for the transfer of a listed dual-use item, exporting countries now have to obtain a statement on the end-use and the final destination of the relevant goods; while recipient states have to give an assurance that they will not use the consigned goods, or any replicas of them, in any nuclear explosive activity or unsafeguarded nuclear fuel cycle activity. In addition, licences should only be granted if the recipient country provides assurances that the consent of the supplier country will be sought before any re-export of transferred goods or replicas of them. The supplier countries are at liberty to apply further approval conditions at a national level or to extend their national lists to cover additional items.

Unlike the dual-use guidelines, the MOU cannot be entered into by every state—the membership is limited to the first 27 countries. The exclusivity results from the fact that mutual exchange of information is necessary. The MOU provides, inter alia, the exchange of information about the purchasing activities of threshold countries; annual consultations among signatories; and for national licence denials to be binding on all signatories for three years.35

In 1994, the suppliers decided to try to take measures to rationalise their arrangements through an additional innovation and changes to their documentation. The innovation created an introductory section in the original guidelines which stated that—regardless of the type of recipient country—an export licence should be denied unless a supplier was satisfied that the transfer involved would not contribute to the proliferation of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. This included transfers to both nuclear and non-nuclear weapon recipient states and to re-transfer.36

In 1994, the Coordinating Committee on Multilateral Export (COCOM), an informal group established by Western nations to restrict transfer of militarily significant and other sensitive technologies to the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and China, was wound up. Three years later, in 1996, the successor to COCOM, the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional arms and dual-use technologies was agreed to. It operated on the basis of two lists: a Munition List and a Dual-Use Goods and Technology List. It is not a substitute for the NSG, although membership overlaps. The Arrangement has no direct connection with the NPT, except that parties are expected to conform to non-proliferation policies, an indirect reference to it. While it is definitely an additional burden on importers, the Arrangement reflects more post Cold War change in alliances, than an adjunct to the NPT.

The NPT Extension and Review Conference

At the 1995 NPT Extension and Review Conference, export controls became one of the most convtroversial issues to be discussed. The statements by the non-aligned states did not reflect the results of previous review conferences. During the review part of the conference, the export control issue was dealt with centrally by Main Committee II, and more peripherally by Main Committee III. In the latter, the main issue was Iran's complaint that it had been excluded from the fruits of peaceful nuclear technology, and its consequential disparagement of export controls. South Africa tried to counter the Iranian argument by saying that it was both a developing as well as non-aligned country and had joined both the Zangger Committee and the NSG.37

The report from Main Committee III re-emphasised the right of member states to participate in peaceful uses and international cooperation, and to receive respect for their national decisions and choices on the peaceful uses and fuel cycles most suited to their specific circumstances. This was inter alia, a Japanese concern. The report regretted the past assistance to non-parties and welcomed steps to terminate it. It sought preferential treatment for NPT parties, particularly developing ones. Iran failed in its attempts in Main Committee II to make the IAEA the sole arbiter of judging compliance with Articles II and III of the NPT and to make observance of the terms of IAEA safeguards agreements the sole proof of such compliance.38 Iran's arguments were countered on the ground that neither Article III.2 nor the standard IAEA agreement with the IAEA assigned the Agency the responsibility for verifying compliance specified in that Article. On the contrary, this was squarely the responsibility of the exporting state.

The non-aligned countries had submitted a working paper proposing that the NPT Conference should establish a committee on export controls, including trigger lists. This provided the basis for criticism of the restricted membership and secretive working of the Zangger Committee, and more specially the NSG, and led to proposals that guidelines on export controls should be drawn up by all NPT parties openly and transparently in the form of "mutually agreed arrangements." These proposals were promoted by Iran and supported by Indonesia and Iran. Attempts by the G-11 to recommend that all parties should accept and implement the Zangger Committee trigger lists, and to secure a favourable reference to the activities of the NSG in Main Committee II, encountered considerable opposition.

Eventually Iran diluted its approach, the G-11 agreed to a less categorical recommendation trigger list than that of 1990 and the compromise text noted that a number of parties" cooperate in an informal group known as the Nuclear Suppliers Group and have agreed on the guidelines for export of nuclear-related items." This agreement was reached after the report of Main Committee II was submitted and hence were not reflected in that report.

The conference was asked in the Main Committee text to affirm that "new supply arrangements should require as a necessary precondition" a commitment not to acquire nuclear explosives and acceptance of full scope safeguards, and urged those suppliers which have not done so to acquire such conditions without delay."39 In his final statement, the Chinese representative reaffirmed the contemporary principles of export policy, which omitted any reference to comprehensive or full scope IAEA safeguards as a condition for supply.40

There was no final declaration of the 1995 Review Conference and export control found a place in the "Principles and Objectives" Resolution adopted by the extension part of the conference. It was stated: "Transparency in nuclear-related export controls should be promoted within the framework of dialogue and cooperation among all interested parties to the Treaty."

During the April 1996 plenary meeting in Buenos Aires, several member states submitted working papers laying out suggestions on how the NSG's activities could be made more transparent and how a cooperative dialogue with non-members could be initiated.


Nuclear trade has by and large remained unhampered vis-a-vis both the NPT as well as export control regulations. The NPT rules are regarded as insufficient, the guidelines appear to contravene the spirit of cooperation in trade and development between suppliers and recipients and there is no agreement among leading suppliers themselves on what constitutes the proper conduct of trade.

The export control rules have been framed only as a reaction in 1974, against the Indian explosion. While on the one hand it proved the inadequacy of the NPT, on the other, it made the nuclear haves realise that the structure they had devised to retain the monopoly was to be supplemented by a denial regime which would include France, then a non-party to the NPT. The desperate need to assert authority over nuclear trade policy by the supplier countries, therefore, had scant regard for the interests or feelings of importers. Also, in effect, blatant disregard of the NPT both in letter and spirit continued. Nuclear trade and transactions via states, companies and individuals carried on, sometimes illegally and at others via bypassing the legislation. Non-proliferation objectives were in several cases subordinated to other national interests, including commercial.

For a very long time, from 1978-1991, export controls remained a dead letter. The world community (read suppliers) were galvanised into action once again as Iraq's attempts to acquire nuclear weapons, in gross violation of its NPT commitments, were revealed. We thus have revised guidelines, MOU, and FSS doing the rounds. Delivery vehicles as well as nuclear materials are the targets. Not only material but technology is also sought to be denied. And the buck does not stop here; not only military but even dual-use technology is to be denied even if it adversely affects the recipient country's development programmes. The denials actually may not stop any project but their nuisance value cannot be denied. They cause delays which, in turn, raises the cost of projects.

Export control regimes are more or less too informal to be able to be implemented. The supplier states have to invariably depend on national legislations which again vary from country to country. The only common formal basis on which action can be taken is, therefore, the NPT, its loopholes notwithstanding. It is for this reason that even though much more stringent rules have been formulated in the more recently emerged export control rules, it continues to be important for the suppliers. Simply put, the NPT forms the base on which the superstructure of export control stands. The two together form an effective weapon to retain the monopoly of nuclear weapons as well as trade.

The idea of transparency, and supplier-recipient dialogue continues to be a myth and will continue to be so long as these regimes remain discriminatory, so long as some nations are more powerful than others by virtue of retaining nuclear weapons and superiority in nuclear technology and trade.



1. John Simpson and Darryl Howlett, "The NPT Renewal Conference : Stumbling Toward 1995", International Security, vol. 19, no. 1, Summer 1994, p.47.

2. William Walker," Nuclear Trade Relations in the Decade to 1995", in John Simpson ed., Nuclear Non-Proliferation: An Agenda for 1990s, (Cambridge University Press, 1987), p.70.

3. Benjamin Sanders and John Simpson, "Nuclear Submarines and Non-Proliferation: Cause for Concern" PPNN Occasional Paper, no.2, 1988 (Southampton, 1988).

4. Harald Muller, "Nuclear National and International Export Control Systems and Supplier States: Commitments under the NPT," PPNN Issue Review, no.8, September 1996, p2.

5. IAEA document INFCIRC/209, September 3, 1974, Memorandum B, paras 3 (a), and 3 (b).

6. INFCIRC/209, Memorandum B (Note9), para.2

7. B.M. Carnahan, "Export Law and Policy of the Emerging Nuclear Suppliers: A Basis for Cautious Optimism", Eye on Supply, no.5 Fall 1991, p67.

8. Guidelines for the Export of Nuclear Material, Equipment and Technology, IAEA document/254, February 1978.

9. T. Strulak, "The Nuclear Suppliers Group", The Non-Proliferation Review, Fall 1993, p2.

10. These principles appeared originally in 1977. The most recent (amended) version of the London Guidelines for Nuclear Transfers was published in IAEA document INFCIRC/254/Rev.1/Part1/Mod.3, November 1994.

11. Ibid., para 6.

12. Strulak, n.9, p.3.

13. J. Goldblat, Nuclear Energy and Nuclear Weapons Proliferation, (SIPRI, London: Taylor and Francis, 1979), p334.

14. Harald Muller, After the Scandals: West German Non-Proliferation Policy, (Frankfurt: Peace Research Institute, 1980).

15. Ruth Stanley," Cooperation and Control: The New Approach to Nuclear Non-Proliferation in Argentina and Brazil" Arms Control, vol.13, no.1, September 1992, p.199.

16. J.D. Moore, South Africa and Nuclear Proliferation, (Macmillian, 1987).

17. Nucleonics Week, January 2, 1992, p.17.

18. Leonard Spector, Nuclear Proliferation Today, (Vintage, 1984), p38.

19. SIPRI Yearbook 1991: World Armaments and Disarmament (Taylor and Francis, 1992), p557.

20. Leonard Spector, The New Nuclear Nations (Vintage, 1985), p.61.

21. S. Weissman and H. Krosney, The Islamic Bomb, (The New York Times Books), p.60.

22. Spector, n.20. p.125.

23. Arms Control Reporter 1989, 602 B p161.

24. Foreign Broadcast Information Service/West Europe, August 22, 1989.

25. New York Times, May 25, 1988.

26. Washington Post, March 24, 1988.

27. Final Declaration of the First Review Conference by the Parties to the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, reprinted in Darryl Howlett and John Simpson, Nuclear Non-Proliferation: A Reference Handbook (Longman, Harlow, 1992), p.332.

28. Ibid.

29. Walker, n. 2, p.71.

30. Mohammad Ibrahim Shakir, "The Legacy of the 1985 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference: The President's Reflections," in John Simpson ed., Nuclear Non-Proliferation : An Agenda for the 1990s (Cambridge University Press, 1987) p.16.

31. Fourth NPT Review Conference Drafting Committee Document and a Review of Articles, Howlett and Simpson, n. 27, p.354.

32. Ibid., p.353.

33. Richard Kokoski, Technology and the Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, (Oxford University Press, 1995), p.179.

34. Muller, n. 4, p.4.

35. Ibid., p.5, Rtimarbaev," A Major Milestone in Controlling Nuclear Exports" Eye on Supply, no.6, spring 1992, pp58-65.

36. This unified document was subsequently published in October 1995 as the guidelines for nuclear transfers as INFCIRC/254/Rev.2/Part1 in parallel with the latest version of the guidelines for nuclear-related dual- use transfers as INFCIRC/254/Rev.2/Part 2.


38. NPT/CONF. 1995/MCII/WP18

39. Report of the Working Group on Article III-Export Controls to the Drafting Committee.

40. INFICIRC/66/Rev.2.