US - Euratom agreement

Nuclear Monitor Issue: 

(November 24, 1995) On November 7, the United States and the European Union signed a new agreement for peaceful cooperation in nuclear research, energy and safety.

(443.4382) WISE-Amsterdam - The accord with the European Atomic Energy Community, or Euratom, was inked in Brussels by U.S. Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat, EU Energy Commissioner Christos Papoutsis and EU Trade Commissioner Leon Brittan. The agreement is expected to take effect early next year pending approval by the U.S. Congress.

"I welcome the conclusion of the U.S.-Euratom Agreement as an important step for establishing fair trading rules for nuclear material while at the same time safeguarding and promoting the international nuclear non-proliferation regime," Papoutsis said. In Washington, State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns told reporters the agreement provides "an updated, comprehensive framework for peaceful nuclear cooperation." US President Clinton authorized the agreement Nov. 1 and will now submit it to Congress for a review period of 90 session days.

Negotiations for the accord, described as lengthy and difficult, began in 1992 and concluded in May with the reaching of a pact (see related story WISE NC 433/34.4289; 16 June 1995).

The agreement, which is to remain in force until 2025 with possible subsequent rollover periods of five years, provides that:

  • Any non-sensitive nuclear activities, as well as enrichment up to 20 percent, 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.
  • Fabrication of certain fuel elements will take place in facilities forming part of the list of nuclear facilities listed by each party.

The 15-nation EU and the United States are the two largest world players in civilian nuclear energy and research.

Source: UPI Press release, 7 Nov. 1995
Contact: Nuclear Control Institute Washington, 1000 Connecticut AV. NW, Suit 704, Washington DC 20036, US, +1-202- 822 8444, Fax +1-202-452 0892