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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 29, 1995

GERMAN BUNDESTAG, 13TH LEGISLATIVE PERIOD, 'RESPONSE OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO THE SMALL INQUIRY OF THE SPD FACTION—PRINTED MATTER 13/1455—STRENGTHENING THE TREATY ON THE NON-PROLIFERATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS'

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    Review of steps taken by the German federal government to limit proliferation of nuclear weapons.
    "German Bundestag, 13th Legislative Period, 'Response of the Federal Government to the Small Inquiry of the SPD faction—Printed Matter 13/1455—Strengthening the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons'," June 29, 1995, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Deutscher Bundestag 13. Wahlperiode, Drucksache 13/1942, 04.07.95 https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/165238
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Printed matter 13/1942
04.07.95

German Bundestag
13th legislative period

Response
of the Federal Government


to the small inquiry of the SPD faction—Printed Matter 13/1455
Strengthening of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty


With the May 1995 indefinite extension of the non-proliferation treaty a necessary, but in no way sufficient, a step has been taken to further maintain a limit on the number of atomic weapons states. Aside from an agreement binding by international law about the end of nuclear weapons testing and further nuclear disarmament steps, it will also be decisive for the future effectiveness of this treaty whether it succeeds in improving and completing construction of the control regimes to be created in connection with the treaty. With this goal the German Bundestag had unanimously approved a related report on June 23, 1993.

1. What has the Federal Government done to implement the resolution passed by the German Bundestag on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons on June 23, 1993?

The Review and Extension Conference of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) agreed to the indefinite extension of the NPT by consensus on May 11, 1995, after four weeks of intensive meetings.

The Federal Government has thereby reached the goal it set with its partners, which is also the core of the resolution adopted by the German Bundestag on June 23, 1993. The consequent concept sought by the Federal Government has been accepted, that nuclear disarmament and international cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy are only possible on the durably secured basis of the NPT. The conference result will not only ensure the durability of the non-proliferation system, but also contribute to its strengthening and global validity. Both documents reached by consensus at the conference add to the structure and content of the future treaty reviews, while simultaneously spurring further progress in nuclear disarmament, particularly for talks on a comprehensive nuclear test ban and a production ban for fissile material for weapons purposes.

Not least among substantial contributions for the result that was reached have been significant efforts and lobbying work for nearly three years by Western states, which the Federal Government has participated in actively. In particular, we made significant contributions through worldwide diplomatic actions under the framework of the EU “Joint Action in Preparation for the NPT Conference” co-initiated by us, and countless bilateral talks with key states.

In the future, as a result of its active role in the extension of the NPT, the Federal Government will also visibly endorse the strengthening of the non-proliferation policy environment.

2. Which steps has the Federal Government undertaken for the strengthening of the control capacity of the IAEA?

The intensive efforts of the IAEA for the strengthening of control measures are supported by the Federal Government. With essential cooperation by its German membership, the IAEA’s executive body, the Board of Governors, after the experience of Iraq and North Korea, has resolved the following:

- Obligation of treaty signatories to provide information about the construction and design of planned facilities as early as possible to the Secretariat (“Early Design Information”);

- Implementation of the “Universal Reporting System,” according to which the treaty signatories voluntarily obligate themselves to report on the transfer of nuclear material, specific armaments, and non-nuclear materials to the IAEA. EURATOM participates in this system, and thus Germany does as well;

- Strengthening of the right of the IAEA to carry out special inspections.

The Federal Government is substantially engaged through its active cooperation in the Board of Governors and in an IAEA Expert Advisory Council in the development and testing of an integrative overall concept for strengthening the effectiveness and improvement of the efficiency of the security system (the “93 + 2” Program).

3. What recommendations has the Federal Government made for expanding the IAEA’s inspection rights?

The program developed by the IAEA Secretariat under instruction from the Board of Governors and with its cooperative guidance for the strengthening of the security system has been generally approved by the Board of Governors in its March 1995 session. The Federal Government supports the recommendations contained therein for the expansion of the IAEA’s inspection rights (expanded information rights, expanded access). The Secretariat with the other member states will need to more closely consider the concrete implementation of these and other recommendations, e.g. the introduction of new verification methods (inspections of surrounding areas), particularly with regard to scope, preconditions, justification, and constraints.

4. What recommendation has the Federal Government made for oversight of suspicious situations in undeclared facilities?

After the experiences in Iraq and North Korea the Federal Government has emphatically expressed its support in the IAEA Board of Governors for strengthening the Secretariat’s control capacities and capabilities, particularly with respect to the discovery of undeclared facilities. The Federal Government is thus of the opinion that in suspicious cases, as for example in North Korea, the seldom used authority of the IAEA to carry out special inspections can be an appropriate and efficient means.

5. What initiatives has the Federal Government taken to include facilities and parts of facilities in the IAEA’s inspection regime?

The key point for the IAEA’s security measures according to the NPT’s guidelines is the fuel supply. Inspection activities are concentrated on (video) surveillance of the materials inside a closed, sealed container or rooms and the taking of samples at key points.

In the case of uncertainty or a deficit of information a special inspection can be ordered, which can include access not only to the named information and measuring points, but also “other localities.” Such an inspection right relates to, among other things, facilities and parts of facilities. The Federal Government is strengthening the IAEA expressly in its right to carry out this authority in suspicious cases.

6. What measures has the Federal Government taken to include all civil nuclear facilities in all NPT signatory states, including nuclear weapon states, under the IAEA’s controls for fissile materials?

Since all non-nuclear weapon states are treaty-obligated by the NPT to sign a Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements with the IAEA, all of their declared nuclear facilities are fundamentally subject to IAEA controls. Civil nuclear facilities in nuclear weapon states have until now only been subject to IAEA controls insofar as these states have submitted themselves to this voluntarily and the IAEA has had capacity to carry out inspections. Under advisement from the IAEA Board of Governments as well as the NPT Conference, the Federal Government has emphatically encouraged the inclusion of civil nuclear facilities in nuclear weapon states under the IAEA’s system of controls. In the final report of the Conference’s Main Committee II (Examination of the Implementation of the NPT’s Security Provisions) the delegations unanimously supported a broader application of fissile material controls in such facilities.

The recommendation contained in the German non-proliferation initiative of December 15, 1993 for an International Plutonium Regime (IPR) is also aimed at this goal. Under this initiative, a binding international regime would be created, which would work through transparency and independent controls in a way that builds trust. The regime would eliminate as far as possible proliferation and military repurposing of weapons-capable materials stemming from disarmament. It would be aimed at all states, independent of their status within the non-proliferation regime, would bring security measures for plutonium and highly enriched uranium to the highest possible level. The goal of this would be to completely account for all stockpiles worldwide.

7. Has the Federal Government made budgetary plans to assist in financing the equipping of the IAEA technically and in terms of personnel?

The degree to which the implementation of the earlier mentioned additional measures for the strengthening of the control system will require further equipping the IAEA technically and in terms of personnel in the medium term is not yet particularly clear. The IAEA Secretariat is currently under the assumption that the first planned measures for implementation in 1996 can be financed under the proposed budget for this year. Moreover, these financial considerations should include the fact that the proposed measures for the improvement of cost efficiency (e.g. new technical verification methods of strengthened cooperation with state or regional control systems, e.g. EURATOM) will lead to not insignificant cost savings and thereby provide financial means for planned additional measures. The Federal Government will consider any potential financial need arising in the medium term in the IAEA’s budget for security measures at the given time, taking into account the non-proliferation policy significance of the IAEA security measures.

In this context it is important to note that under the framework of the German support program for IAEA security measures, research and development work is being carried out in cooperation with the Inspectorates of the IAEA and EURATOM. The cost of this program is around 1 million DM annually, not including personnel and material costs at participating industrial and research concerns.

8. Which of the German Bundestag’s recommendations for improving the effectiveness of the control regime for non-proliferation has the Federal Government accepted and carried out?

What initiatives has the Federal Government taken to subject new nuclear technological developments to international control?

The goal and purpose of some of the German Bundestag’s recommendations have entered into the Resolutions of the IAEA Board of Governors from February 1992 and February 1993. The Resolutions have been quickly adopted and have already contributed to the strengthening of the system of security measures.

According to the Board of Governors Resolution of February 1992 the treaty signatory states are obligated to provide information about the construction and design of planned nuclear facilities as early as they possibly can to the IAEA, in order to ease preparation for carrying out security measures. This information, updated as needed, about existing nuclear facilities and their planned modifications contribute significantly to the transparency of nuclear programs. Moreover, Germany participates via EURATOM in the IAEA’s voluntary universal reporting system. The circle of countries participating in this system is growing and in the future will include—according to expectations—the overwhelming majority of IAEA members. The list of good and equipment requiring notification is continually updated and also includes nuclear-related multi-purpose goods.

In answer to question 2, reference is made to the IAEA Board of Governors Resolution particularly supported by the Federal Government strengthening the IAEA’s right to carry out special inspections.

Through considerable contributions from the German support program for security measures the IAEA Secretariat has also made important progress in developing modified and new technical verification systems (e.g. more efficient and more powerful surveillance cameras).

Technical optimization of existing verification technologies and development of new ones are also the result of joint research and development work from the IAEA and EURATOM.

In this and other areas (joint use of devices, equipment, and research labor) the IAEA and EURATOM are cooperating to avoid costly duplication of effort. The framework of the “New Partnership Approach,” which in April 1992 was furnished with concrete benchmark figures, calls for joint implementation of inspections, whereby personnel and technical expenses should be reduced. The implementation of the planned measures has already led to initial savings of IAEA efforts and gives reason to expect further clear cost savings.

With regard to the inclusion of new nuclear technological developments in the security system, the Federal Government assumes that the basic technical characteristics of the facilities, in which these developments are meant to be applied, will be communicated to the IAEA in a timely manner before the nuclear materials are brought in, and thereby the appropriate implementation of security measures is assured. Moreover, the IAEA also has here the capability of special inspections.

9. What measures from the IAEA’s proposed reform program (the “93 + 2” Program) for the improvement of the IAEA’s information access and transparency of nuclear material stockpiles does the Federal Government support?

Here reference is made to the answers to questions two, three, four, and eight.

10. What objections does the Federal Government raise against environmental sampling, in which samples of water, soil, and air are taken and inspected?

The taking of water, soil, or air samples inside or on the territory of nuclear facilities as well as in the immediate area of facilities is considered by the Federal Government as a useful and effective measure for inspecting indicators of the operators’ intended design and use of facilities. The particulars of the scope, technical and organizational prerequisites, and conditions for taking such environmental samples (as well as, among others, the question of comparison samples by the relevant operator state) still need to be considered. The technical feasibility as well as the predictive capability of comprehensive, far-reaching environmental samples over a lengthy span of time (Wide Area Environmental Monitoring) are currently being tested by technical experts.

11. Is the Federal Government currently prepared to refrain from the use of HEU in research reactors, in recognition of manifold national and international objections?

The Federal Government absolutely considers it proper to refrain from the use of HEU in research reactors.

Research with neutrons currently requires particularly powerful radiation sources. For this reason the FRM II Project is seeking a neutron flux (8 x 1014 n/cm2 x s) that approaches that of the most powerful research reactor worldwide at the ILL (Institut Laue-Langevin) in Grenoble. The reactor concept relies on conventional nuclear fission induced by slow neutrons. The use of HEU in this instance offers particularly useful advantages.

In the early planning phase of the FRM II in the mid-eighties the project group at the Technical University of Munich examined alternative concepts, also in consideration of the degree of enrichment of the fuel. The decision of the reactor concept that resulted with a compact highly enriched fuel element is based on the experience of the ILL reactor. The FRM-II’s instruments promise particularly powerful measuring capability with low operating costs, low environmental impact, and low plutonium accumulation.

Otherwise the peaceful use of highly enriched uranium is viewed as completely permissible under international controls and the NPT (outcome of the Review Conference of May 1995), as well as the INFCE Conference (International Fuel Cycle Evaluation) for specific scientific purposes.

12. What measures for the disposal of plutonium and other weapons-capable fissile materials does the Federal Government support?

Under the framework of nuclear disarmament assistance there have been discussions for some time with the Russian side on options to disable for further military use weapons-grade plutonium from former Soviet weapons made available by disarmament, so that it can be transferred for energy-generating purposes.
The first result has been a German-Russian technical study “The Production of Uranium and Plutonium Fuel from Weapons-Grade Plutonium and the Possibility of its Use in Nuclear Energy Science,” which was completed in February 1995 and submitted to the Foreign Office as the client. The study was financed from the disarmament assistance budget at a cost of 1 million DM.

In the course of treaty-agreed or unilaterally declared disarmament measures, over 100 tons of weapons grade plutonium will be made available in the coming years in Russia. In the submitted study the options for solving this under the objective of disarmament policy are examined. This includes in particular the suitability of the “Plutonium Uranium Mixed Oxide (MOX) procedure”. The study lays out a number of recommendations for the continuation of German-Russian cooperation in this area. For this purpose, 2 million DM from the disarmament budget are planned for 1995.

The disposal and recycling concept of the Federal Government anticipates that plutonium will be repurposed from German fuel elements into MOX fuel elements and used in nuclear power plants.

13. Why is the Federal Government only providing 13 million DM for nuclear disarmament in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and the Ukraine, a sum that is wholly insufficient in view of the scope of disarmament to be achieved in these states and the German interest in this disarmament?

Does the Federal Government consider disarmament assistance for the four successor states of the former Soviet Union to be of secondary importance?

The Federal Government has consistently called for raising the budget for disarmament assistance. Federal Minister Dr. Klaus Klinkel more than once expressed views along these lines before the German Bundestag. The importance of disarmament assistance as a new security policy task of a long-term nature and the consequent necessity of a budgetary increase were already reinforced by him on his Ten Point Initiative on Non-Proliferation of December 15, 1993.

In the 1993 fiscal year 10 million DM was available for disarmament assistance, and 9 million in 1994 because of budgetary rules limiting spending. The Federal Government’s proposed budget for 1995 contained an increase to 15 million DM. In the course of parliamentary debate on the budget bill this sum was reduced to 13 million DM in light of the overall financial situation.

The budget for disarmament assistance will be used for about half of the support provided in the area of nuclear and chemical weapons. Current projects in the Russian Federation and in the Ukraine are being facilitated.

In order to meet security policy challenges associated with disarmament assistance appropriately, it will also be necessary in the coming years to provide considerably comprehensive budgetary funds.

14. What progress is there in introducing equal standards for the control of nuclear material exports?

Under the framework of international nuclear non-proliferation policy, whose central element is the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), control regimes have been agreed to in the past for the export of nuclear-related goods. On the basis of Article III of the NPT, which permits the transfer of fissile material to non-nuclear weapon states, only if this material is subject to the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA)’s safeguards, criteria for the implementation of this treaty obligation were drawn up by the so-called Zangger Committee. The Zangger Memoranda, submitted in 1974 and continuously updated, together with their “Trigger Lists,” i.e. lists of goods whose supply to recipient countries require an Article III “resolution” under the NPT, are the first agreement on unitary rules for nuclear exports. The Zangger Committee currently has 30 member states.

The “London Guidelines” for nuclear transfers were agreed upon in 1976 as a detailed regulation for all international nuclear-related deliveries. Currently 31 states are participating in this Nuclear Supplies Group (NSG) with the most important supply countries, including Russia as well as numerous Eastern European states. In addition to the materials and disarmaments defined by the Zangger Committee the NSG rules encompass the transfer of technology and sharpen the conditions for export.

At the Plenary Meeting of the NSG member states in 1992 in Warsaw additional export controls for nuclear-related multi-use goods were passed through an “NSG Dual Use Regime.”
Worth mentioning in terms of non-proliferation policy is the sharpening of NSG guidelines by the NSG Plenum in Luzern in March/April 1993. After this the export of important nuclear goods to non-nuclear weapon states is only still allowable if the recipient country has carried out the IAEA’s full scope safeguards, which control the full flow of fissile material within the country’s sovereign territory. This change relates in principle to the tightening of German export law on nuclear material, which was already introduced by the Federal Cabinet with its Resolution of August 9, 1990.

At the NSG Plenum in Helsinki in April 1995 a further tightening of export control rules in individual areas (e.g. technology) was finally achieved.

Germany is actively participating in these international discussions with the goal of securing the high export control policy standard for nuclear-related materials that has already been attained and raising it further as much as possible.

Moreover, the EU under Germany’s Presidency at the end of 1994 has passed a Dual-Use Goods Regulation, which is being applied consistently across the entire EU. One of the most important successes of the German efforts, among others, is that after this EU Dual Use Regulation entered into force on July 1, 1995 in all countries of the EU even non-listed goods are subject to an export control if they are wholly or partially determined or could be determined to be for the production and development of chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons (the “catch-all clause”).

15. What has the Federal Government done to provide the IAEA with a mandate for special inspections and inspections in suspicious cases, even for dual-use goods?

Any possible IAEA special inspections in facilities suspected of undeclared nuclear activities can also be related to dual-use goods existing there being used for nuclear purposes. Otherwise reference is made to the answers to questions four and eight.


16. What initiatives has the Federal Government promoted for the establishment of a UN transfer register encompassing all nuclear transfers and requests for transfer, including the area of dual use?

The Federal Government supports the introduction of an obligatory Universal Reporting System for international transfer and domestic production of nuclear material and substantial nuclear disarmament at the IAEA. In 1992 the IAEA Board of Governors passed a Resolution according to which only a reporting system with voluntary participation will be introduced. Currently around 30 states participate in this voluntary reporting system, including all EURATOM states and the Federal Republic of Germany. The Federal Government expressed support at the NPT Conference in 1995 for a broader application of the Universal Reporting System.

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