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Renewal of EURATOM/US Agreement on peaceful nuclear cooperation

Negotiations on the renewal of the EURATOM/US Agreement on peaceful nuclear cooperation were succesfully concluded, in July 1995, following high level talks between Commissioners Papoutsis and Brittan and the US Under-Secretary of State Mrs. Lynn Davis. This agreement will rep...
Negotiations on the renewal of the EURATOM/US Agreement on peaceful nuclear cooperation were succesfully concluded, in July 1995, following high level talks between Commissioners Papoutsis and Brittan and the US Under-Secretary of State Mrs. Lynn Davis. This agreement will replace the existing one which will expire on 31 December 1995.

The cooperation developed over the last 35 years under the existing agreement is valued as highly positive by both parties. Commissioner Papoutsis, who has led the negotiations, said: "I attach great political importance to reaching a new Agreement with the United States in the area of nuclear cooperation. The new agreement will provide a significant contribution to strengthening our bilateral relationship in this sector. The Commission is satisfied that the agreement reached attains the EU's objectives and preserves Euratom's essential interests. This new agreement will help the Union and the United States to work together internationally in support of the highest standards of nuclear safety, cooperation and non-proliferation."

The new agreement, which will remain in force for at least 30 years, followed possibly by subsequent 5-year roll-over periods, guarantees that:

- Any non-sensitive nuclear activities, as well as enrichment up to 20%, irradiation of fissile materials and post-irradiation examination involving chemical dissolution or separation of irradiated nuclear material, will be freely and unconditionally allowed;

- Retransfers to third countries will be authorized on a long-term basis according to procedures set out in the agreement;

- Storage of sensitive fissile material will be possible in any facility that meets the usual physical protection levels;

- Reprocessing and alteration in form of content of sensitive fissile materials will take place under a generic programmatic consent, in facilities forming part of the list of nuclear facilities ("peaceful programme") delineated by each party. This generic consent will be valid in practice for the entire life of the agreement.

As an important energy source for the Union (about a third of all electricity is nuclear produced), it was necessary to ensure that industrial and trade aspects relating in particular to security of nuclear supply and competitivity were secured by the new agreement.

The agreement provides a secure and favourable basis for considerable co-operation and trade between the nuclear industries of the two sides as well as a number of third countries, and provides a durable framework for this trade to expand in the future according to the commercial choices and needs of the EU nuclear industry. It also responds effectively to the objectives of the Commission's Green Paper on Energy. The agreement, moreover, ensures that internationally accepted levels of non-proliferation and physical protection apply indefinitely to all material.

The Agreement will now be forwarded to the relevant political authorities - the Council, in the case of the EU, and the US Congress.
DE

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