Jeffrey LewisGreetings from Bruxelles!

I am here, in the land of Tintin, for a Carnegie Endowment workshop on the future of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

Obviously the big question is the status of the ongoing effort to create a set of criteria to govern transfers of enrichment and reprocessing technologies.  Current NSG guidelines, as Mark Hibbs has observed, merely notes that suppliers “should exercise restraint.”  (Daryl Kimball wrote a really nice primer in late 2008 that is still worth reading.)

At the Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference, the State Department’s Dick Stratford said, “we are very, very close — but we’ve got a country who thinks that one of the criteria is not one that we should require.”  According to Mark, that country is “South Africa, the sole NSG member state that continues to object to the Additional Protocol as a condition for supplying enrichment and reprocessing items.”

So, I am eager to find out if, and why, South Africa objects to the criteria-based approach to the transfer of enrichment and reprocessing or, as I like to call it, the “pyrite standard.”