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Nuclear Material

Volume 174: debated on Tuesday 12 June 1990

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To ask the Prime Minister if she will make a statement on the policy of Her Majesty's Government concerning the transfer of nuclear materials, and in particular enriched uranium, to countries which have not signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

The transfer of nuclear materials, including enriched uranium, is authorised in accordance with the policy set out in 1976 by the then Foreign Secretary, the right hon. Member for Cardiff, South and Penarth, Mr. Callaghan; that is to say:

"When considering the export of nuclear equipment, material, or technology, we shall study each case on its merits. Our first consideration will always be the provisions of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Euratom Treaty, and whether or not the prospective customer has concluded a Safeguards Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Our detailed requirements will include the application of IAEA safeguards or comparable safeguards which are verified by the IAEA to exported nuclear equipment and material; an assurance that whatever we export will not be used to manufacture nuclear explosives for any purpose; an assurance that our exports will be adequately protected against the possibility of theft or sabotage; and assurances that if the equipment or material that we export is re-exported, then the new purchaser will be required to give the same assurances of safeguards, non-explosive use and physical protection as were given by the original customer."