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China Nuclear Reactor Export to Pakistan

Experts, Organizations from 14 Countries Call on Nuclear Suppliers Group to Uphold Rules Barring Chinese Sale of Reactors to Pakistan

For Immediate Release: June 17, 2010 (Washington, D.C. time)

Contacts: Daryl G. Kimball, Arms Control Association 1-202-463-8270 x107; Philip White, Citizens' Nuclear Information Center, Tokyo 81-3-3357-3800

(Washington, D.C.-Tokyo, Japan-Christchurch, NZ): In a letter sent this week to the 46-member states of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), a prestigious and broad array of more than 40 experts and nongovernmental organizations from 14 countries urged that these nations "reiterate to the Chinese government that it must not engage in nuclear trade with Pakistan in a way that violates nonproliferation obligations and norms."

In recent weeks, credible reports have surfaced that the Government of China is planning to sell two additional nuclear power reactors to Pakistan, which would be inconsistent with NSG guidelines and China's commitments to the NSG.

The group argues that nuclear trade with Pakistan would not only give a state outside the nonproliferation mainstream the rights and privileges reserved for states that follow nonproliferation rules, but it would contribute to the arms race in South Asia.

The Nuclear Suppliers Group will convene on June 21-25 in Christchurch, New Zealand. The possible China-Pakistan nuclear reactor deal is expected to be a topic of discussion at the meeting.

Under the guidelines of the NSG, countries other than the five formally-recognized nuclear-weapon states-China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States-are not eligible to receive most nuclear exports from NSG members unless they have International Atomic Energy full-scope safeguards in place. Pakistan is one of only three states never to have signed the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). Pakistan does not allow full-scope international safeguards and it continues to produce fissile material for its nuclear weapons program.

When China joined the NSG in 2004, it had already built a power reactor at Pakistan's Chashma site. China claimed at the time that it was entitled to build a second reactor on the grounds that it was covered in the existing agreement with Pakistan. There was no declaration at that time of any intention to build additional nuclear power plants at Chashma.

If China goes forward with the sale, it would be the second major breach of NSG standards in as many years. In September 2008, the NSG agreed on an exemption for nuclear transfers to India over the protestations of the governments of New Zealand, Ireland, Austria, and others. The exemption, which was initiated by the United States and strongly backed by France, Russia and the U.K., blew a hole in the NSG's long-standing policy against nuclear trade with non-NPT parties.

States at the recently concluded NPT Review Conference, including China, also reaffirmed that "new supply arrangements" for nuclear transfers should require that the recipient accept "IAEA full-scope safeguards and international legally-binding commitments not to acquire nuclear weapons."

In their letter, the experts and NGOs note that "The provision of uranium and/or nuclear fuel to Pakistan or India for safeguarded reactors can have the effect of increasing their respective capacity to produce enriched uranium or plutonium for weapons purposes in unsafeguarded facilities."

At the May 2010 Review Conference, NPT states parties also expressed concern about the negative effects of civil nuclear trade with these countries. The NPT conference final document "... urges all States parties to ensure that their nuclear-related exports do not directly or indirectly assist the development of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devises."

Among the former government officials and experts endorsing the letter is Amb. Jayantha Dhanapala, the former UN Undersecretary General for Disarmament Affairs and President of the 1995 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review and Extension Conference. Other notable signatories include Henry Sokolski, former Deputy for Nonproliferation Policy in the U.S. Department of Defense, and Fred McGoldrick, the former U.S. official responsible for civilian nuclear trade negotiations.

NGOs and experts from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States, and elsewhere endorsed the letter, which was organized by the Washington-based Arms Control Association.

The letter urges NSG governments "to oppose nuclear trade with Pakistan and to refrain from engaging in nuclear trade with India until such time as it complies with UN Security Council Resolution 1172," which calls upon India and Pakistan to stop producing fissile material for weapons, to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and undertake other nuclear risk reduction measures.

The U.S. government "has reiterated to the Chinese government that the United States expects Beijing to cooperate with Pakistan in ways consistent with Chinese nonproliferation obligations," according to a news report published June 1 in the journal Arms Control Today.

Washington is also reportedly pressuring the Japanese government to change its policy against nuclear trade with India in to open the way for the sale of nuclear reactors built by the Japanese-U.S. corporation Toshiba-Westinghouse.

See below for the full list of endorsers and the text of the letter. The letter is also available on Arms Control Association's web site.


Letter sent to national representatives to the 46-member Nuclear Suppliers' Group (NSG)

Ensure Compliance with NSG Guidelines and Nonproliferation Standards

June 17, 2010

Dear Ambassador:

In recent weeks, credible reports have surfaced that the Government of China is planning to sell two additional power reactors to Pakistan. We strongly urge that your government raise this issue at the upcoming meetings of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) in Christchurch, New Zealand and make clear that such a transfer would violate NSG guidelines.

Under the guidelines of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) countries other than the five recognized nuclear-weapon states-China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States-are not eligible to receive most nuclear exports from NSG members unless they have IAEA full-scope safeguards in place.

When China joined the NSG in 2004, it had already built a power reactor at Pakistan's Chashma site. It claimed at the time that it was entitled to build a second one on the grounds that the second reactor project was covered in its existing agreement with Pakistan.

There was no declaration at that time, and subsequently no NSG approval, of any intention to build additional nuclear power plants at Chashma.

Chinese construction of additional nuclear power plants in Pakistan beyond what was grandfathered in 2004 would be inconsistent with NSG guidelines and China's commitments to the NSG.

We urge your government to reiterate to the Chinese government that it must not engage in nuclear trade with Pakistan in a way that violates nonproliferation obligations and norms.

The provision of uranium and/or nuclear fuel to Pakistan or India for safeguarded reactors can have the effect of increasing their respective capacity to produce enriched uranium or plutonium for weapons purposes in unsafeguarded facilities. Action 35 of the 2010 NPT Review Conference Final Document:

"... urges all States parties to ensure that their nuclear-related exports do not directly or indirectly assist the development of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devises and that such exports are in full conformity with the objectives and purposes of the Treaty as stipulated, particularly, in articles I, II, and III of the Treaty, as well as the decisions and principles and objectives ... adopted in 1995 by the Review and Extension Conference." The 1995 NPT decisions include making full-scope safeguards a condition of nuclear supply.

All UN members states are also obligated to support UN Security Council Resolution 1172, which calls on Pakistan and India to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), stop producing fissile material for weapons, and undertake other nuclear risk reduction measures.

Neither Pakistan nor India have full-scope safeguards in place; neither have halted fissile material production for weapons or signed the CTBT; both nations are currently expanding their respective uranium enrichment capacity.

We urge your government to oppose nuclear trade by any state with Pakistan (or any other state that does not meet basic nonproliferation norms) and to refrain from engaging in nuclear trade with India, until such time as it complies with UNSC Resolution 1172.\

Sincerely,

Daryl G. Kimball, Executive Director,
Arms Control Association (Washington, DC, U.S.A.)

Hideyuki Ban, Co-Director,
Citizens' Nuclear Information Center (Tokyo, Japan)

Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor (retired),
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, Mass. U.S.A.)

David Culp, Legislative Representative,
Friends Committee on National Legislation (Quakers) (Washington, D.C. USA)

Dr. Kate Dewes & Commander Robert Green, Royal Navy (Ret'd)
Co-Directors, Disarmament & Security Centre (Christchurch, New Zealand)

Amb. Jayantha Dhanapala,
former UN Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs

Dr David Hutchinson Edgar, Chairperson, and Mary McCarrick Treasurer,
Irish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

Anna Ek. President.
Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society

George Farebrother, Secretary,
World Court Project (United Kingdom)

Trevor Findlay, Director,
Canadian Centre for Treaty Compliance, Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada)

Yasunari Fujimoto, Secretary General,
Japan Congress Against A- and H-Bombs (Gensuikin)

Irene Gale AM, Treasurer
Australian Peace Committee (Adelaide , Australia)

Pete Haemmerle, Executive Director,
Austrian Fellowship of Reconciliation

Frank von Hippel,
Professor of Public and International Affairs, Program on Science and Global Security,
Princeton University (Princeton, NJ, USA)

Akira Kawasaki, Executive Committee Member,
Peace Boat (Japan)

Hans Lammerant,
Vredesactie (Belgium)

Fred McGoldrick,
Consultant, and Former Director of Nonproliferation and Export Policy,
U.S. Department of State (Boston, Mass., U.S.A.)

Ak Malten, Director,
Pro Peaceful Energy Use (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Michael Mariotte, Executive Director,
Nuclear Information and Resource Service (Takoma Park, MD, U.S.A.)

Haruko Moritaki, Co-Director,
Hiroshima Alliance for Nuclear Weapons Abolition

Masayoshi Naito, Coordinator,
Citizens Network for Nuclear Weapons Abolition (Japan)

Kimiko Ogasawara, Vice Chair,
Peace/Nuclear Issues Committee,
National Christian Council in Japan

Nicola Cufaro Petroni,
General Secretary, Union of Scientists for Disarmament, and
Professor, Interdepartmental Centre for Peace Research of Bari University, Italy

Dr. Willam C. Potter,
Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar Professor of Nonproliferation Studies,
Monterey Institute of International Studies (California, U.S.A.)

Associate Professor Tilman Ruff, Chair,
International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons (ICAN)

Barney Richards, President,
Peace Council Aotearoa New Zealand Inc.

Daisuke Sato, Secretary-General,
No Nukes Asia Forum Japan

Sukla Sen,
Committee for Communal Amity (Mumbai, India)

Alice Slater, UN Representative,
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (New York, NY, U.S.A.)

Aileen Mioko Smith, Executive Director,
Green Action (Kyoto, Japan)

Susi Snyder Programme Leader, Nuclear Disarmament,
IKV Pax Christi (The Netherlands)

Henry Sokolski, Executive Director,
Nonproliferation Policy Education Center,
Fmr. Deputy for Nonproliferation Policy in the Department of Defense (Washington, D.C., U.S.A.)

Sharon Squassoni,
Director and Senior Fellow, Proliferation Prevention Program,
Center for Strategic and International Studies (Washington, D.C. U.S.A.)

Steven Staples, President,
Rideau Institute (Ottawa, Canada)

Terumi Tanaka, Secretary General,
Nihon Hidankyo (Japan Confederation of A- and H-bomb Sufferers)

Takao Takahara,
International Peace Research Institute, Meiji Gakuin University* (Japan)

Masao Tomonaga, Chair,
Nagasaki Citizens' Assembly for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

Hiromichi Umebayashi, Chair,
Policy Council of Japan to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

Rene Wadlow, Representative to the UN,
Association of World Citizens (Geneva, Switzerland)

Dr. Leonard Weiss,
Center for International Security and Cooperation,
Stanford University* (Stanford, California, U.S.A.)

Gunnar Westberg,
Member of the Board of Directors,
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War

Peter Wilk, Executive Director,
Physicians for Social Responsibility (U.S.A.)

Ichiro Yuasa, President,
Peace Depot* (Japan)

*Affiliation listed for identification purposes only.

Please address replies to:

Arms Control Association
1313 L Street NW, Washington, DC 20005
http://www.armscontrol.org


Countries represented on the 46-member NSG
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

See US-India Working Group home page for related materials

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