Proliferation News
» May 24, 2011

NSG Membership: A Criteria-Based Approach for Non-NPT States

Pierre Goldschmidt | Proliferation Analysis

India Jaitapur

In 2008, the 46 participating governments of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) agreed to exempt India from the comprehensive IAEA safeguards requirement of the NSG Guidelines. This "India exemption" permits suppliers to conduct civil nuclear trade with India, one of the three states that never joined the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
The nuclear policy community widely believes this exemption undermines the credibility of the global nuclear nonproliferation regime. The desirability of providing access to the safest and most efficient nuclear power technology to produce electricity while protecting the environment, even to non-NPT states, is perfectly understandable, even though such supply is contrary to both the spirit of the NPT bargain (as it is presently understood) and the letter of the NSG Guidelines. In agreeing to export nuclear items and technologies to India, the NSG should have required India to accept formally at least the obligations of the five nuclear-weapon states recognized under the NPT. The NSG also should have entitled India to less cooperation from the supplier states than that made available to NPT non-nuclear-weapon states (NNWS). Instead, the NSG exemption failed to commit India to a responsible nonproliferation policy. Full Article   

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