Jeffrey LewisENR Transfers, Pending

I just wrote a long post about not getting the Additional Protocol in the new NSG guidelines — but there is some language in a different spot that I skipped over.  Hold that thought … it may not be so bad, after all.


  1. Gaukhar (History)

    There’s language that expressly requires CSAs and AP, among other things, n’est-ce pas? With a caveat for those implementing other “appropriate safeguards agreements” with the IAEA, though.

    • Jeffrey (History)

      It was that language that I missed. I only noticed that the AP had been removed from the formal criteria 6(a) and added below, but with what appears to be a much, much larger exception.

  2. Sukhjinder (History)

    So it’s final that India won’t get ENR tech ?
    I mean what was use of the whole nuclear deal in 2008 if NSG
    had to detract from its promises later on. step by step they can unwind the whole exemption. the ememption in 2008 clearly stated that India could enrich and spend reprocessing fuel.

    • krepon (History)

      I appreciate your attention to detail.
      My memory is not always trustworthy. I recall that legislative intent against ENR transfers was clear in both the House & Senate versions of the enabling legislation and in floor debate. But somewhere near the end of the process, didn’t the Bush administration fudge this so as to help New Delhi deal with domestic critics?

  3. InsiderThreat (History)

    How clean it was….if the USG, which sponsored India, never intended it, why would the USG now want other suppliers to do so?

    Questions for the Record Submitted to
    Under Secretaries Nicholas Burns and Robert Joseph
    Senate Foreign Relations Committee
    November 2, 2005

    The Administration’s Legislative Proposal and the July 18 Joint Statement

    Secretaries Burns and Joseph:


    The Joint Statement commits the United States to “full civil nuclear energy cooperation with India.” As the United States has different forms of nuclear energy cooperation with many nations, differing even among NPT Parties, what is the meaning of this phrase in relation to U.S. law and regulation regarding nuclear commerce with India?


    For the United States, “full civil nuclear cooperation” with India means trade in most civil nuclear technologies, including fuel and reactors. But we do not intend to provide enrichment or reprocessing technology to India. As the President said in February 2004, “enrichment and reprocessing are not necessary for nations seeking to harness nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.” We do not currently provide enrichment or reprocessing equipment to any country.

    We will also need to ensure that any cooperation is fully consistent with U.S. obligations under the NPT not to “in any way” assist India’s nuclear weapons program, and with provisions of U.S. law.

  4. Sukhjinder (History)

    I’m still not sure that ENR tech would denied to India.
    the last word is not out yet. bye the way the newzealand’s PM doesn’t think that ENR tech would denied to India.

  5. Sukhjinder (History)

    India signed the reprocessing deal with U.S last year itself. under that deal India has the right to reprocess the spent fueal, it was a hard fought deal, and they can’t back out of that at this point. India was to create two dedicated facilities for reprocessing fuel under under safe guards from IAEA. yes Enrichment and reprocessing was very much part of the nuclear deal which India signed back in 2008. you can’t simply walk away just like that. I don’t think India will let this issue go down very easily. Also I know france and russia assured India about ENR technologies. with russia, the ENR
    agreement is already in progress.

    • Daryl Kimball (History)

      The Hyde Act allows India to reprocess U.S. origin spent fuel in a dedicated safeguarded reprocessing facility.

      But consistent with longstanding U.S. policy, the law includes a prohibition on trade involving uranium enrichment, reprocessing, or heavy water production technology (unless it involves an internationally safeguarded, multilateral fuel cycle facility in India at some point in the future) and it establishes an extensive “end-use monitoring” program to help ensure that no U.S.-origin technology is diverted for military purposes.

      As ACA reported earlier today, the new NSG ENR guidelines clarify that “suppliers should not authorize the transfer of enrichment and reprocessing facilities, and equipment and technology … if the recipient does not meet, at least, all of the following criteria:

      – Is a party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and is in full compliance with its obligations under the Treaty;

      – Has not been identified in a report to the IAEA Secretariat which is under consideration by the IAEA Board of Governors, as being in breach of its obligations to comply with its safeguards agreement, nor continues to be the subject of Board of Governors decisions calling on it to take additional steps to comply with its safeguards obligations or to build confidence in the peaceful nature of its programme ….;

      – Is adhering to NSG guidelines and has reported to the Security Council of the United Nations that it is implementing effective export controls as identified by Security Council Resolution 1540; and

      – …has brought into force a Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement, and an Additional Protocol based on the Model Additional Protocol, or pending this, is implementing appropriate safeguards agreements in cooperation with the IAEA Board of Governors.”

      Other conditions for ENR transfers include: assurances on non-explosive use, effective safeguards in perpetuity, and retransfer; commitment to international standards of physical protection; commitment to IAEA safety standards and international safety conventions. The new guidelines also allow suppliers of ENR to consider “any relevant factors as may be applicable” to ensure the transfer is used for peaceful purposes only.

      Put all that together and it is clear that ENR technologies should not be sold to states with nuclear weapons programs outside the NPT and that do not have full-scope safeguards. Last I checked, that applies to India.

    • Jeffrey (History)

      I think you’re right.

    • Andrew (History)

      At first I was happy seeing Daryl Kimball’s name, and then I became more happy after reading the contents of his post. While the NSG’s decisions do not seem to be legally binding, this is a very well-written post.

  6. David (History)

    Hi Jeff- longtime reader and fan of this wonderful community, but I think you can and should do better than “hold that thought.” There were some strong words in your no-longer-accessible post, including condemnations of the administration’s nonpro record that were only half-fair alongside down-right inaccurate and misleading information re: the ENR transfer language.
    I’m a bit disappointed that you are so quick to assume the worst of a group of policy-makers that largely share your nonproliferation concerns and priorities. I know this field tends to inspire deep cynicism in its devotees over time, but how about the benefit of the fricking doubt? Premature heckling from the proverbial nonpro/ arms control base on something like this is pretty uncool.
    I’m not saying criticism is bad or wholly unuseful, but a.) wait till the facts are in and b.) own up a bit more convincingly when you get it wrong. And for the record: reality complicates the implementation of ideal policy, as you know perfectly well. Maybe savor the little victories- God knows they are few and far enough between.

    • David (History)

      My comment has been “awaiting moderation” for quite some time. Was there something objectionable about it?

    • Jeffrey (History)

      Nope, I’ve just been busy.

    • Jeffrey (History)

      The AP language got moved out of the criteria section, which is why I missed it. The language is now ambiguous. I am taking my time to think about this very carefully because, to be honest, I am not sure whether they should have walked away or not.

      I will have another post up soon and will probably put the full text of the original post in the comments section.

      I have no doubt the people doing the negotiating share my nonproliferation concerns, but once we get above a certain level, I have my doubts.

  7. Sukhjinder (History)

    For now India might retreat. But This will an issue for the government of India for any time to come , And India will pursue on his issue relentlessly. India has never and will never proliferate, it’s just not India’s DNA. But at the same time it won’t sit quietly with this restriction. it simply want’s to be recognized on par with with 5 NPT states. So NSG might have put restriction for now, but this issue is still far from resolved.

  8. Arch (History)

    “ALL of the following criteria.” [Emphasis mine.] Thanks to Daryl for putting things into the proper context.

    To repeat myself, for which I offer apologies: how do we translate these things into international norms outside the NSG? Do we just keep inviting more people into the Group? Is that the strategic objective? What is the long-term strategy of the NSG? I believe we are hanging onto a thread of control that doesn’t exist anymore, and that we need to broaden the acceptance of international norms. That cannot be done by the technology-holders, whose number are increasing by the day.

  9. arch (History)

    Any lawyers out there, or anybody else of course, know how many waivers of the NNPA were required to get the India deal through? And what might all that mean in terms of the current discussion? And what anything means anymore in terms of the NNPA of 1979, et. al?

  10. Nader (History)

    Is there a good description of what ENR actually entails? Is the focus on complete systems or does it also cover all the single critical components such as: magnets, special oils, etc?

    Because from the reprocessing point of view, India apparently is in OK shape, and what they lack is enrichment technology at the level of Pakistan.

    On the other hand, Pakistan is past third generation centrifuges, from what has been mentioned in articles, but lack reporcessing capability at the level of what India has achieved.

    So if ENR doesn’t block access to basic components, India and Pakistan can adavnce their corresponding weak ENR programs.