Moscow Nuclear Safety and Security Summit Declaration

20th April 1996

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[Summit Contents]

In this document: [ Nuclear Safety | Safety of Civilian Nuclear Reactors | Nuclear Waste Management | Nuclear Material Security ]

1. The end of the cold war and the political and economic reforms in Russia have opened a new era in our relationship and have provided the international community with real possibilities for cooperation in the fields of nuclear safety and security. The Moscow meeting is an important step in the realization of these objectives. We are determined, at this summit and beyond, to work together to ensure the safety of nuclear power and to promote greater security for nuclear materials.

2. We are committed to give an absolute priority to safety in the use of nuclear energy. As we approach the tenth anniversary of the Chernobyl accident, it is our shared objective that such a catastrophe cannot reoccur.

We are ready to cooperate among ourselves so that the use of nuclear energy is conducted all over the world consistently with fundamental principles of nuclear safety. Further, we are committed to measures which will enable nuclear power, already a significant contributor to electricity supply in those countries choosing to exploit it, to continue in the next century to play an important role in meeting future world energy demand consistent with the goal of sustainable development agreed at the Rio Conference in 1992.

We recognize the importance of openness and transparency to obtain public trust which is a key factor for the use of nuclear energy.

3. The security of all nuclear material is an essential part of the responsible and peaceful use of nuclear energy. In particular, the safe management of fissile material, including material resulting from the dismantling of nuclear weapons, is imperative, not least as a safeguard against any risk of illicit trafficking in nuclear materials.

4. In the spirit of the decisions adopted during the New York Conference of May 1995 on review and extension of the Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT), including the Decision on principles and objectives for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, we will increase our cooperation in the field of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament by promoting universal adherence to the NPT, working vigorously to strengthen the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards system and through effective and responsible export control measures. We are issuing a separate statement on CTBT. We renew our commitment to the immediate commencement and early conclusion of negotiations on a non-discriminatory and universally applicable convention banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.

Nuclear Safety

5. Recognizing that the prime responsibility for nuclear safety rests with national governments, it is of the first importance to continue to enhance international collaborative efforts to promote a high level of nuclear safety worldwide.

Safety of Civilian Nuclear Reactors

6. Nuclear safety has to prevail over all other considerations. We reaffirm our commitment to the highest internationally recognized safety level for the siting, design, construction, operation and regulation of nuclear power installations.

7. The promotion of an effective nuclear safety culture in each country with nuclear installations is essential to that end.

8. Sustainable nuclear safety also requires a supportive economic and legal environment whereby both operators and national regulatory bodies can fully assume their independent responsibilities.

9. Nuclear safety can also be enhanced by greater international transparency in nuclear power activities, in particular by means of peer reviews, and this should lead to existing reactors which do not meet current safety requirements being brought to an acceptable level of safety or ceasing operation.

10. The adoption of the Convention on Nuclear Safety, which reaffirms these fundamental safety principles, is a major accomplishment in this field. We urge all countries to sign this Convention and to complete internal procedures to join so that the Convention can be brought into force expeditiously certainly before the end of 1996.

11. National efforts have been made in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the Newly Independent States to improve nuclear safety levels, often in cooperation with multilateral and bilateral programmes. In this regard, we acknowledge these important efforts to upgrade reactor safety and improve safety culture, but note that further substantial progress is still required. We reaffirm our commitment to cooperate fully for this purpose.

Nuclear Liability

12. An effective nuclear liability regime must assure adequate compensation to victims of, and for damage caused by, nuclear accidents. In addition, to secure the degree of private sector involvement needed to undertake vital safety improvements, the regime should at the same time protect industrial suppliers from unwarranted legal action.

13. The essential principles in this area are the exclusive and strict liability of the operator of the nuclear installations and ensuring needed financial security for adequate compensation.

14. It is essential that countries with nuclear installations that have not yet done so establish an effective regime for liability for nuclear damage corresponding to these principles.

15. It is important to work together on enhancing the international regime of liability for nuclear damage with a view to ensuring that it will attract wide adherence and accommodate any state which may wish to become a party. We encourage the experts to make further progress to this end. In this connection, the reinforcement of regional cooperation is welcomed.

Energy Sector Strategies in Transition Countries

16. Efficient market-oriented strategies for energy sector reform are essential to promote nuclear safety. This will generate adequate resources for investment in safety upgrades and maintenance, and encourage energy conservation. All countries in transition should pursue such market-oriented reforms and investment strategies based upon least cost planning, giving due regard to nuclear safety and environmental criteria, and to energy efficiency and conservation.

17. The International Financial Institutions have played a leading role in developing market-oriented energy sector reforms and investment plans. Their continued involvement and support is critical to ensure further progress.

Nuclear Waste Management

International Convention

18. National authorities must ensure radioactive waste is managed safely and that provisions are made for its proper handling, storage and ultimate disposal. These are essential elements for any nuclear energy programme.

19. The development of the Convention on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management, based on these principles, is of paramount importance. We call on all countries generating nuclear waste with nuclear installations to participate actively in the preparation of this Convention under the auspices of the IAEA and to encourage its effective finalization and prompt adoption.

Ocean Dumping

20. We commit ourselves to ban dumping at sea of radioactive waste and encourage all states to adhere at the earliest possible date to the 1993 amendment of the London Convention.

Nuclear Material Security

Programme on Preventing and Combatting Illicit Trafficking in Nuclear Material

21. Illicit trafficking of nuclear material is a public safety and nonproliferation concern. We recognized the importance of this issue at our meetings in Naples and Halifax. As risks continue to exist, we have agreed on, and released, a programme on preventing and combatting illicit trafficking in nuclear material to ensure increased cooperation among our governments in all aspects of prevention, detection, exchange of information, investigation and prosecution in cases of illicit nuclear trafficking.

We call on other governments to join us in implementing this programme.

Nuclear Material Control, Accountancy and Physical Protection

22. We reaffirm the fundamental responsibility of nations to ensure the security of all nuclear materials in their possession and the need to ensure that they are subject to effective systems of nuclear material accounting and control and physical protection. These systems should include regulations, licensing and inspections. We express our support for the IAEA safeguards regime, which plays a critical role in providing assurance against the diversion of nuclear material going undetected. We underline the need for the urgent strengthening of IAEA capabilities to detect undeclared nuclear activities. We note that these measures are also conducive to preventing illicit trafficking of nuclear material.

23. We recognize the importance of continually improving systems and technologies for controlling and protecting nuclear materials. We urge nations to cooperate bilaterally, multilaterally and through the IAEA to ensure that the national systems for controlling nuclear materials remain effective. We are encouraged by the wide array of cooperative projects underway in this field under bilateral and multilateral auspices and pledge to sustain and increase these efforts.

24. We urge ratification by all states of the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and encourage the application of the IAEA recommendations on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material.

25. We pledge our support for efforts to ensure that all sensitive nuclear material (separated plutonium and highly enriched uranium) designated as not intended for use for meeting defence requirements is safely stored, protected and placed under IAEA safeguards (in the Nuclear Weapon

States, under the relevant voluntary offer IAEA-safeguards agreements) as soon as it is practicable to do so.

Safe and Effective Management of Weapons Fissile Material Designated as No Longer Required for Defence Purposes

26. Major steps have been taken in recent years towards nuclear disarmament. This has created substantial stocks of fissile material designated as no longer required for defence purposes. It is vital, as mentioned above, that these stockpiles are safely managed and eventually transformed into spent fuel or other forms equally unusable for nuclear weapons and disposed of safely and permanently.

27. The primary responsibility for the safe management of weapons fissile material rests with the nuclear weapons states themselves, but other states and international organizations are welcome to assist where desired.

28. We welcome the steps that the United States and the Russian Federation have taken to blend highly-enriched uranium (HEU) from dismantled nuclear weapons to low-enriched uranium (LEU) for peaceful non-explosive purposes, and the cooperation programs of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and other states with the Russian Federation for the safe storage, the peaceful uses of fissile material released by the dismantlement of nuclear weapons, and their safe and secure transportation for that purpose; we encourage other efforts along these lines.

29. We are determined to identify appropriate strategies for the management of fissile material designated as no longer required for defence purposes. Options include safe and secure long-term storage, vitrification or other methods of permanent disposal, and conversion into mixed- oxide fuel (MOX) for use in nuclear reactors. We have agreed to share relevant experience and expertise to elaborate and implement these strategies. We welcome plans to conduct small-scale technology demonstrations related to these options, including the possibility of establishing pilot projects and plants. We shall convene an international meeting of experts in order to examine available options and identify possible development of international cooperation in the implementation of these national strategies, bearing in mind technical economic, non-proliferation, environmental and other relevant considerations. The meeting will take place in France by the end of 1996.

30. We recognize the importance of ensuring transparency in the management of highly enriched uranium and plutonium designated as no longer required for defence purposes.

* *

A background document on "Nuclear Safety", "Nuclear Material Control, Accountancy and Physical Protection" and "Safe and effective management of weapons fissile material designated as no longer required for defence purposes" is being released separately.

Source: Released at the Moscow Nuclear Safety and Security Summit, April 20, 1996.

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