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As a result of the NSG waiver, the blanket ban on British “trigger list” exports to India goes. Exports to safeguarded facilities are now allowed, subject to the relevant licenses being approved on a “case by case basis”…
10 November 2008
Nuclear exports ban to India lifted
The Government lifted a ban on exporting sensitive nuclear technology to India.
Firms had been barred from supplying equipment and material on the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) “trigger list” to the country since 2002.
But Foreign Office Minister Bill Rammell told MPs the Government will now allow exports for civil nuclear projects.
The change in the Government’s position follows an NSG statement in September which allowed an exemption from the group’s guidelines for civil nuclear facilities which are safeguarded by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Mr Rammell told the Commons in a written statement: “Since March 2002 UK policy has been to refuse all licence applications for Trigger List items to India.
“That policy has now changed and we will now consider on a case by case basis licence applications for peaceful use of all items on the NSG Trigger List and NSG Dual-Use List when they are destined for IAEA safeguarded civil nuclear facilities in India.”
The ban will remain in force on items destined for “unsafeguarded nuclear fuel cycle or nuclear explosive activities” or where there is an “unacceptable risk” the material might be diverted to those activities.
Mr Rammell added: “We will continue to encourage contacts between UK nuclear scientists, academics and those working in or with the UK nuclear industry with their Indian counterparts, except where we consider that such contacts might be of assistance to the weapons-related aspects of its nuclear programme.
“Where such contacts involve the transfer of technology which require export licences we will continue to consider applications for such licences on a cases-by-case basis, in accordance with the provisions of UK export control legislation.”