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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release September 29, 1995




I am pleased to transmit to the Congress, pursuant to sections 123 b. and 123 d. of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2153(b), (d)), the text of a proposed Agreement for Cooperation Between the United States of America and the Republic of South Africa Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, with accompanying annex and agreed minute. I am also pleased to transmit my written approval, authorization, and determination concerning the agreement, and the memorandum of the Director of the United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency with the Nuclear Proliferation Assessment Statement concerning the agreement. The joint memorandum submitted to me by the Acting Secretary of State and the Secretary of Energy, which includes a summary of the provisions of the agreement and various other attachments, including agency views, is also enclosed.

The proposed agreement with the Republic of South Africa has been negotiated in accordance with the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act of 1978 (NNPA) and as otherwise amended. In my judgment, the proposed agreement meets all statutory requirements and will advance the non-proliferation and other foreign policy interests of the United States. It provides a comprehensive framework for peaceful nuclear cooperation between the United States and South Africa under appropriate conditions and controls reflecting a strong common commitment to nuclear non-proliferation goals.

The proposed new agreement will replace an existing U.S.-South Africa agreement for peaceful nuclear cooperation that entered into force on August 22, 1957, and by its terms would expire on August 22, 2007. The United States suspended cooperation with South Africa under the 1957 agreement in the 1970's because of evidence that South Africa was embarked on a nuclear weapons program. Moreover, following passage of the NNPA in 1978, South Africa did not satisfy a provision of section 128 of the Atomic Energy Act (added by the NNPA) that requires full-scope IAEA safeguards in non-nuclear weapon states such as South Africa as a condition for continued significant U.S. nuclear exports.

In July 1991 South Africa, in a momentous policy reversal, acceded to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and promptly entered into a full-scope safeguards agreement with the IAEA as required by the Treaty. South Africa has been fully cooperative with the IAEA in carrying out its safeguards responsibilities.

Further, in March 1993 South Africa took the dramatic and candid step of revealing the existence of its past nuclear weapons program and reported that it had dismantled all of its six nuclear devices prior to its accession to the NPT. It also invited the IAEA to inspect its formerly nuclear weapons-related facilities to demonstrate the openness of its nuclear program and its genuine commitment to non-proliferation.

South Africa has also taken a number of additional important non-proliferation steps. In July 1993 it put into effect a law banning all weapons of mass destruction. In April 1995 it became a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), formally committing itself to abide by the NSG's stringent guidelines for nuclear exports. At the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference it played a decisive role in the achievement of indefinite NPT extension -- a top U.S. foreign policy and national security goal.

These steps are strong and compelling evidence that South Africa is now firmly committed to stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction and to conducting its nuclear program for peaceful purposes only.

In view of South Africa's fundamental reorientation of its nuclear program, the United States proposes to enter into a new agreement for peaceful nuclear cooperation with South Africa. Although cooperation could have been resumed under the 1957 agreement, both we and South Africa believe that it is preferable to have a new agreement completely satisfying, as the proposed new agreement does, the current legal and policy criteria of both sides, and that reflects, among other things:

For the United States, the proposed new agreement also represents an additional instance of compliance with section 404(a) of the NNPA, which calls for an effort to renegotiate existing agreements for cooperation to include the more stringent requirements established by the NNPA.

The proposed new agreement with South Africa permits the transfer of technology, material, equipment (including reactors), and components for nuclear research and nuclear power production. It provides for U.S. consent rights to retransfers, enrichment, and reprocessing as required by U.S. law. It does not permit transfers of any sensitive nuclear technology, restricted data, or sensitive nuclear facilities or major critical components thereof. In the event of termination, key conditions and controls continue with respect to material and equipment subject to the agreement.

From the United States perspective the proposed new agreement improves on the 1957 agreement by the addition of a number of important provisions. These include the provisions for full-scope safeguard; perpetuity of safeguards; a ban on "peaceful" nuclear explosives; a right to require the return of exported nuclear items in certain circumstances; a guarantee of adequate physical security; and a consent right to enrichment of nuclear material subject to the agreement.

I have considered the views and recommendations of the interested agencies in reviewing the proposed agreement and have determined that its performance will promote, and will not constitute an unreasonable risk to, the common defense and security. Accordingly, I have approved the agreement and authorized its execution and urge that the Congress give it favorable consideration.

Because this agreement meets all applicable requirements of the Atomic Energy Act, as amended, for agreements for peaceful nuclear cooperation, I am transmitting it to the Congress without exempting it from any requirement contained in section 123 a. of that Act. This transmission shall constitute a submittal for purposes of both sections 123 b. and 123 d. of the Atomic Energy Act. The Administration is prepared to begin immediately the consultations with the Senate Foreign Relations and House International Relations Committees as provided in section 123 b. Upon completion of the 30-day continuous session period provided for in section 123 b., the 60-day continuous session period provided for in section 123 d. shall commence.



September 29, 1995.

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