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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • April 09, 1975

    Memorandum from George S. Vest, Bureau of European Affairs, to Secretary of State, 'French Foreign Minister's Response on Nuclear Suppliers Meeting'

    This memo includes a response from the French Foreign Minister Sauvagnargues regarding the nuclear suppliers' meeting. The French said that they will participate based on certain conditions. The memo also includes the U.S.'s reactions to these various conditions, which the U.S. believes it can fulfill.

  • June 19, 1975

    U.S. Embassy London telegram 9376 to State Department, 'Nuclear Export Policy: Bilaterals with FRG'

    The U.S. delegation agreed to develop a policy paper that would take into account French and other views so as to reach agreement on the most “stringent” safeguards possible. A central but divisive issue was whether safeguards should apply to the entire nuclear fuel cycle (later known as “full-scope” safeguards). Another issue was whether multinational auspices for reprocessing and enrichment plants should be mandatory or a matter of discretion by a supplier country.

  • July 24, 1975

    US National Security Council Memorandum for Brent Scowcroft from John Marcum

    A cover letter attached to National Security Council memorandum on disuading South Korea from purchasing a French-built reprocessing plant.

  • September 23, 1975

    Memorandum from George S. Vest to Secretary of State, 'September 16-17 Nuclear Suppliers' Meeting'

    The September 1975 meeting of the suppliers’ group brought out a conflict over a decisive issue, whether supplying countries should require recipient countries to place all nuclear facilities under safeguards or require them only for the technology and supplies at issue in the contract (“project safeguards”). The Canadians strongly supported the former, “full scope safeguards” (their terminology, which caught on), which the French saw as “tantamount to imposing NPT obligations” --a reference to the Treaty’s Article III--which they would not accept.

  • October 10, 1975

    George Vest to Mr. Sonnenfeldt, 'British Comprehensive Safeguards Initiative re Suppliers Conference'

    This document describes the differing views regarding safeguards. The Canadians strongly supported the former, “full scope safeguards” (their terminology, which caught on), which the French saw as “tantamount to imposing NPT obligations”--a reference to the Treaty’s Article III--which they would not accept. Arguing that full-scope safeguards was “alien to [their] philosophy,” the French suggested that a “traditional interpretation of the contamination principle (i.e., requiring safeguards on any materials produced in exported facilities),” would make it possible to achieve “the practical equivalent” of the Canadian proposal.

  • January 27, 1976

    George Vest to the Secretary, 'Nuclear Suppliers Status Report'

    In this document regarding the final agreement, George Vest wrote Kissinger that it “served to close many of the loopholes and inadequacies of previous nuclear cooperation agreements between suppliers and recipients.” It also put the French and West Germans on record to restrict access to sensitive nuclear technologies. Nevertheless, as Vest noted, the guidelines would not prevent “indigenous” development of nuclear capabilities and “unsafeguarded developments” or the acquisition of sensitive technology.

  • June 11, 1976

    George Vest to the Secretary of State, 'London Nuclear Suppliers Meeting'

    This document provides an overview of the London Nuclear Suppliers' Meeting which included the addition of the five newest countries to the original seven. Most old and new members were receptive when Washington lobbied them to support a “long term and stable regime of restraint” on the export of sensitive enrichment and reprocessing technology. While the French were supportive of the moratorium proposal, the Germans were uncomfortable with it, not least because of the implications for their deal with Brazil.