342. Memorandum of Conversation1
SUMMIT—May 7, Afternoon Session
Callaghan: We have agreed to begin this afternoon with a discussion of nuclear energy and I would like President Carter to open up on this issue.
President Carter: I think we are all aware of the public displeasure at the rapid turn to nuclear power. In the United States, 22 states had referenda to prohibit the construction of nuclear power plants. I feel that governments should depend more on nuclear power in the future for electricity. We have a major industry in the mining and enrichment of uranium. We export enriched uranium at no profit, and sometimes at great headache. But it is hard to convince the opposition to our exports that we should maintain an export policy when they think this is going to be used for explosives.
The question is how do you maintain nuclear production in the US, and supply others, without the fear that we will enhance the capacity of other countries to produce explosives?
This must be addressed on an international basis. We endanger relations with consumer countries if we act unilaterally. When I became [Page 865]President I inherited a moratorium on the export of nuclear fuel which was imposed by my predecessor.2 I know this concerned all of you.
I want to work with you to find ways of stopping proliferation and the possible use of nuclear fuel for explosives in order to export fuels which will be used for nuclear power. There are a number of different degrees of status among nations on this issue. Some NPT signatories produce weapons, other do not. Other have vowed never to produce weapons. We must cooperatively address this question. I know of the national sensitivities which are involved. I want you to know that I plan to expand US enrichment production capabilities. I want to insure that if we can find means of improving accountability, treatment of waste products and proper safe guards we will insure fuels for nations who want to produce electricity and are willing to comply with these safeguards. We believe it is necessary to assess the future of the plutonium economy and especially the fast breeder reactor, although we believe this technology won’t be needed for 20–25 years.
We built two reprocessing plants in the US before I became President. They have been shut down because they did not work. They did not help on waste disposal, but instead generated by-products. We have also decided to cancel construction of our next reprocessing plant and we won’t build the breeder, although we will not prevent others from building it if they wish. As I said, we don’t think a breeder will be needed for 25 years. Some of you have different opinions. And I can understand your reluctance to rely totally on us for uranium.
But it is difficult for me to get our people to support shipments of uranium supplies unless there is some assurance that the uranium will not be used for weapons. I suggest therefore that we set up a group of technicians to examine this issue and report back to us. This can provide an analysis of the problem so that we can understand what the needs are. I cannot control people’s views on the export of raw materials unless I can give them answers on the issue of explosives. I would rather take action along with you than action which might be ill advised. We should be concerned with the complete fuel cycle including the availability of uranium reserves around the world and the intentions of suppliers to increase enrichment facilities. We should define the possible constraints to be placed on consumers before they receive supplies. This should be done on a multilateral basis. We should also look at the breeder from a common vantage point and look at how to resolve the issue of nuclear waste disposal. I know that I have already aggravated leaders here because of my hesitation to change my predecessor’s decisions on fuel exports.[Page 866]
Callaghan: Is your proposal for a preliminary study different from your proposal for an international nuclear fuel cycle evaluation program? If the final preliminary study is completed in two months, it could in other words decide on how to establish an international fuel cycle evaluation.
President Carter: Yes, it would be preliminary to the longer study.
Trudeau: President Carter’s case is based on the unstated major premise that there is a danger of proliferation which we can and should do something about. I am not convinced that all here share that premise. All agree the danger exists, but some may not think we can do anything about it.
President Carter: The CIA has done a sobering study on the prospects of the technology capabilities of nations who might want to built nuclear devices.3 Twelve to fifteen countries are capable of building nuclear devices. One premise at the end of the study might be that any country in the future which explodes a device gets no more fuel. Such countries include Brazil and South Korea. They see nuclear power as a status symbol. Perhaps we did not deplore the Indian explosion enough. If it were pre-ordained that if a country exploded a nuclear device they would get no more fuel maybe they would not try it.
Schmidt: I, as a person and as Head of Government, agree that there is a danger which you, Prime Minister Trudeau, describe, and that we should do something about it.
But what are the consequences of this? The effort does not embrace the number of states and the categories of states which must be brought in. There are four categories of states: NPT members who are nuclear, NPT non-members who are non-nuclear; non-NPT members who are nuclear; and non-NPT members who are non-nuclear. If arrangements additional to the NPT are agreed upon and do not include these different groups of states with different interests there could be difficulties.
If there were an additional arrangement, plus the NPT, it might not include all the important groups. These countries not invited would need careful watching.
After Germany came into being in October 1954 we signed the Brussels Treaty which renounced nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. We also signed the NPT. It was not easy to ratify in Parliament. I pushed ratification hard but we had to change governments in order to do it.
There is no doubt that the peaceful use of nuclear energy by my country is a vital means of safeguarding our energy supplies as well as [Page 867]our social, economic and technological progress. Not all present at this Conference have signed the NPT. The NPT should run parallel with any new arrangement on safeguards involving the provision of nuclear supplies. We should have no discrimination against non-weapon states. The NPT is the legal basis for non-proliferation. Our efforts must run parallel to efforts to develop the peaceful use of nuclear energy and safeguard world energy supplies. We will support and participate in the energy consultations sketched out by President Carter. But we should include countries who by 1985 or 1990, if left out, will use plutonium and uranium to produce nuclear weapons. We must also recognize that the stronger our supplier rules are the more the incentive for countries to develop their own uranium. Such countries should be included in this group.
Trudeau: I agree. It is better to have the other countries agree than to disagree. But how would they get the uranium?
Schmidt: All countries can get uranium. You can make an A-bomb in your back yard. Other technology will spread. I see them spreading already.
Trudeau: Isn’t that like saying there is nothing we can do?
Schmidt: No, no, no. That is not what I meant. If you exclude them they will from the beginning be of no help. They will be difficult.
I will be willing to participate in this study but it should not prejudice existing relations among countries, no more moratorium and no constraint on existing bilateral or third country arrangements. It should not prejudice the work of the Nuclear Supplier Club. And we must give the “have nots” and the “must nots” the feeling that we are not discriminating against them. That would decrease chances for successful cooperation.
Jamieson: If we say we want to help you develop peaceful technology do we also say we do not want you to use it for an explosive device? What does the distinction mean?
Schmidt: Yugoslavia rather than Brazil, is a good example. If we do not take their interests into account it could produce an attitude you cannot control.
Jamieson: It is a question of national pride with Yugoslavia.
Trudeau: It is not a matter of pride that countries should have biological weapons. It should not be a matter of pride but Yugoslavia and India develop nuclear weapons.
Schmidt: National pride is an important factor of life. If you want to get countries cooperation you cannot tell them what you know is in their best interest. There will be additional uranium found in the years ahead just like oil in the North Sea and Alaska.[Page 868]
Vance: Would you include just the threshold countries or just those with reactors?
Andreotti: Two comments. First, I am convinced of the need for non-proliferation. I saw this as urgent when we signed the NPT. We signed it with conviction. Article IV of the NPT gives the assurance that we will use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.4 I agree that we should have two months to consider the issue. But what is in Article IV should remain valid in its entirety. The Conference should restate the importance of Article IV. It should restate that enriched uranium should be used for reactors and for industrial development and scientific research. Second, in the last few days we have read that French scientists have developed a process without the risks of use of uranium for military purposes. I would like President Giscard to comment.
Giscard: For my part France is aware of the dangers of nuclear proliferation. We believe in the need to share responsibility and address this problem. I agree with President Carter and Prime Minister Trudeau on this. We have not signed the NPT for a variety of reasons.
Where we depart from the US is that we consider nuclear energy unavoidable. There will be reduced energy causing slower industrialization unless we have nuclear sources, particularly in view of the coming oil shortage. It is a valid source of energy for countries without military technology. We were entitled to provide ourselves with nuclear energy.
Certain factors are essential in operating plants. Enrichment is now done primarily by the US and 20% by Britain, Germany, France and Italy. At present, enrichment is a probable factor in proliferation. But the construction of international plants is difficult and expensive and small countries cannot do it. Reprocessing involves creation of plutonium from nuclear fuel elements after their use. We feel that it is not realistic to think of medium-size countries storing non-processed nuclear waste. Therefore, the waste should be destroyed. But this is difficult in that plutonium is a byproduct of reprocessing. It is impossible for medium-size countries to have nuclear industry without reprocessing.
With respect to the breeder, it is possible that between 1985 and 1990 there will be a shortage of natural uranium. The producers will be the US, Canada, Australia and France. France will be knocking on the door of the uranium producers monopoly. But we will have to ensure that maximum benefits are derived from uranium. The breeder gives you 50 times more electricity from the same amount of uranium. It is [Page 869]like a multiplication of the amount of oil we have by 50. We cannot rule out the breeder without an analysis of the large number of issues involved. We and the Germans have launched an experimental effort on the environmental and safety issues involved. A breeder does not appear more dangerous than other reactors. It is as dangerous as a light-water plant. The danger is the amount of plutonium which comes out of the process. It can be subverted to military use. But to manufacture the bomb from stolen plutonium, you would need 2000 people working 18 months. This would be difficult to hide. All countries need to recognize the risks of the danger of proliferation by terrorists. But the breeder is indispensable if we are to make the best out of our uranium.
I am not sure we should accept Helmut’s view that each country should do what it wants, that is make its own decisions about when to provide nuclear technology to other countries. Why did we suspend the sale of nuclear technology to South Korea? This was not because of US pressure. It was because information we received was that despite public statements they were going to manufacture a nuclear bomb.
Let me then spell out our thinking on this. First, very few countries will require reprocessing—Germany, Japan and EURODIF countries. They will need a large program to deal with their nuclear waste. Others will not need a reprocessing facility. Second, only those producers who are embarking on a breeder—France, Germany and the USSR, as well as the UK, need plutonium. We are, therefore, justified in finding measures to meet our needs while not transferring technology to countries which do not need it. Third, on enrichment, there are a number of non-proliferation technologies. French scientists are developing a new technique to enrich fuel to a level insufficient for military purposes. If countries attempt to take it further, to too high a level of enrichment, the process would break down. If a critical level were reached, a chemical process would take over like a sort of slow explosion which would take a long time.
Fourth, on reprocessing, we can imagine a formula to reduce the military risks. We can imagine a form of service contract where reprocessing countries reprocess the waste of others and retain the plutonium under some international agreement whereby an international organization would supervise it. The rest of the reprocessed fuel could then be sent back to the consumer. The technique needs further investigation as does the form of contract which might be used. This would be a way to reduce the military risks, and I believe it is achievable.
We can subscribe to the view of the US and can provide technology for the peaceful use of energy and see that it remains peaceful.
Schmidt: I believe President Giscard misunderstood me. I do not feel that a country should be left to do what it wants to do about sales. [Page 870]But we should not discriminate against countries on the peaceful uses of energy.
Fukuda: I appreciate and agree with the importance of President Carter’s comments. Japan was the first nation baptized by nuclear holocaust. We had agreed not to manufacture, not to allow in, and not to own nuclear weapons. President Carter is concerned about the issue of nuclear energy because of the danger of weapons. We cannot and will not do this.
In the morning we discussed the economic recession and its structural causes. One factor of this depression is tighter energy supplies. The US CIA study indicated that in 10 years energy, particularly, oil, would be in short supply. In the 21st century, there will be fusion. In the meantime, we must ride out the gap. We must ask how we bridge the gap and give people confidence in the future. This is our perception. This is why we in the last few years, with American advice, have spent roughly $1 billion on a reprocessing plant. Our experimental reprocessing plant will be open by autumn.
Japan is in a unique position. For us, Article IV of the NPT is an important issue which we cannot ignore. People have confidence in the sanctity of this Article. It has an impact on the minds of people everywhere. With respect to the new study, it is hard to expect that all of the countries now producing explosives could be included. We cannot predict the attitude in China, India and the USSR. It is difficult to expect most poorer countries in the world to agree with President Carter’s plan. Nations’ rights must be safeguarded. Why not have professional experts undertake global surveillance in a central mechanism of those countries concerned? We can get countries together to study the means of surveillance. Reprocessing is needed to give economies strength and to give energy to our economies.
Some countries may wish to get out of the NPT if we do not act wisely.
President Carter: President Giscard misunderstood me on the importance of nuclear energy. I think nuclear energy for electricity is a crucial part of the use of energy for the future. I believe in the increased use of nuclear power in the civilized world. This is demonstrated by our willingness to export nuclear fuel, a decision I recently made. This is not profitable for us. We use one-third of the enriched uranium we produce; we export one-third; and we store one-third for future domestic use and exports. The action we have taken in initiating this discussion is a crucial prerequisite for the unrestrained export of nuclear fuel. Unless there is international surveillance of the use of nuclear fuel, it will be difficult for us to manufacture and ship it. The sale of reprocessing plants to NPT countries is most worrying.[Page 871]
Reprocessing is no panacea for waste-product storage. I cannot agree with President Giscard that there is a lack of space available to store waste. It does not take a large country to store nuclear fuel. One square mile is adequate. It is no easier to store fuel in the US than it is in Japan or other countries. Reprocessing is no answer to disposal. In all countries people fear the proximity of nuclear fuel. The size of the nation is a minor fact.
We are eager to find a solution. We want to provide fuel to others. If there is international supervision over how to control nuclear facilities, then we can export.
I also do not agree with President Giscard’s view that uranium will run out soon. I think we have 25–30 years of uranium available. By that time there will perhaps be production of the breeder. In September, we will go critical on our new thorium reactor.
We will be cooperative in trying to remove restrictions on the export and use of nuclear fuel. But unless we take action to ensure the facilities, and think they are safe, we cannot export. We must find assurances to satisfy the people of my country. Hundreds of demonstrators have just been arrested in New Hampshire protesting against a light-water reactor.5 The example I have suggested can improve our understanding.
Trudeau: I believe that President Carter and President Giscard are both reaching the same conclusion. President Giscard is saying, I believe, that there should be safeguards for the full fuel cycle and the plutonium should be brought back to the suppliers. Did I understand you right, President Giscard, that you want full fuel cycle safeguards when you suggested that plutonium be recycled?
Giscard: We think reprocessing is a technical necessity. Work must be carried forward for technical reasons and to encourage the breeder because European uranium supplies will be less guaranteed than the supplies of oil. From 1980 onward, we will import all of our natural uranium. The uncertainty of supply compels Europe to derive maximum benefits from minimum amounts of uranium. We can be self-sufficient with the breeder. If not, we will have to be 50 times more dependent on Canada, the US, and Niger. Thus, reprocessing is necessary from a technical point of view.
On technology transfer and safeguards, we must seek all possible legal and fiscal guarantees on safeguards beyond the NPT. There should be no technology transfer without sound economic arrangements.[Page 872]
Trudeau: On the fuel cycle, as far as the ultimate idea is concerned, we need to define a safeguard system to ensure that production does not lead to explosive devices. I feel the question of reprocessing is secondary to that.
Giscard: The US at one time stopped the export of uranium on the grounds that there would be reprocessing and because of the fear of explosives. We will study, as suggested, aspects of non-proliferation. But we cannot subscribe to the dictum that there should be no reprocessing of uranium.
Trudeau: Are you saying in your plan that there should be no reprocessing elsewhere?
Giscard: No. They send back the waste. Then we keep the plutonium which comes out of the reprocessing. I am not saying that Japan and Germany could reprocess without safeguards. I would want to insist that the plutonium be returned.
Schmidt: President Carter, you say that it is difficult to get the consent of the people in the area for even one square mile of storage of nuclear waste. Are you saying that you will not store other nations’ waste?
President Carter: It is almost impossible to get people to agree to store the waste from a foreign country. We are faced with states saying they will allow no power plants in their borders; and they object to the transfer of nuclear waste across the borders. Vermont allows no power plants. People will not accept the waste of others.
Schmidt: Some people in Germany say that we will let you build a power plant if the US will take the waste. Now it is clear that you won’t?
President Carter: This is not an unfriendly statement, but it is an accurate statement.
Schmidt: No, no; I understand. It is a necessary clarification and a reflection of the interest of the US.
I agree with Valery on the need for safeguards.
No one has mentioned Brazil so far. But we are under criticism for our bilateral, or trilateral, deal on Brazil. The Vienna agency is the third party. When we signed this deal, we not only followed the NPT, we went beyond it. In the meantime, there were new views, and new dangers were seen. But at that time we went far beyond the existing legal obligations and in fact added international controls beyond what we were legally bound to do, or to ask of the Brazilians. We have lived up to our obligations. But we do not want to take additional obligations if others don’t.
Jamieson: We have said publicly that your agreement with Brazil involves obligations above the legal maximum.[Page 873]
Owen: All of us will have to tighten up on safeguards. There is a need for a wider group. Some countries want nuclear energy. The danger is in delay. We support the fuel cycle evaluation program and also agree on the preliminary study. But this could take a year. We should make progress in the London Suppliers Group and perhaps widen the membership. We who are deeply involved should lead the way. If we did nothing in the Suppliers Group, it would be dangerous.
Our scientists question whether you can store waste from such reactors very well. The UK Magnox is a case in point. There we have got to reprocess. But there is a great deal to be said about the exchange of information.
President Carter: The crux of the question is whether we are going to insist that reprocessing be under strict safeguards to allow countries access to fuel in a prudent and acceptable way. If the safeguards are not adequate, it will be difficult to provide nuclear fuel. This is true for Canada and Australia as well, although I cannot speak for them. I have no objections if nations wish to reprocess or have the breeder. But there is no reason for us to permit countries who are not signatories to the NPT to develop nuclear weapons capabilities. I am not trying to stop the breeder. Our reprocessing plants did not work, but I hope that you who are building a breeder will be more successful. The crux of the situation is to devise some way to develop adequate safeguards so that we can provide fuel to those who need it.
Callaghan: The difficulty you have is to persuade other countries that your position is based on the reality of the problem of proliferation rather than to serve your advantage as an energy rich country. You cannot give people the impression that you are trying to shut other countries out. I accept that your view is based on concerns about proliferation and the need for proper safeguards but it is important that you not give the impression of depriving countries of the benefits of nuclear fuel.
I believe President Carter’s suggestions offer an opportunity of moving forward. If you in the US go forward in the absence of a study, it presents difficulties for all of us. The issue that we must study is that we have got to see that safeguards can be erected so that what you want can be achieved. What is said here has indicated that without agreement on this matter countries without coal, oil or natural gas will have problems. We need a technical study so that we can really work out the issues that can be solved in this manner.
MacDonald: Canada’s policy is to refuse the supply of raw uranium. We will control supply in the first instance. We would have to reach an understanding on what the safeguards are going to be. The arguments in the US situation are the same as in Canada. If we were forced to take unilateral action we would be hit from both sides by not [Page 874]supplying raw uranium and not providing reprocessing. Canada therefore supports the study group idea and believes that somehow there should be a linkage with the London Supplier Group.
Vance: There is no inconsistency; the London Supplier Group could go along without interfering in the study.
Giscard: Are we going beyond the NPT or was the proposal for physical guarantees governing the sale or non-sale of various plants. I believe that in President Carter’s thinking one can go beyond legal guarantees and consider that certain sales would not take place in certain circumstances. I believe that restrictions over and beyond legal guarantees should be considered.
The reprocessing countries are represented here in this room. It is not a question of what conditions we impose on our own procedures. Germany and Japan have industrial potential. It is foolish to consider imposing conditions on them. What we are talking about is conditions on the sale of reprocessing facilities to others—physical conditions involved. There will be no more sales by France because of proliferation. Pilot plants present a serious danger of proliferation and these need to be considered as well as other proliferation techniques. Do we agree that there should be physical limits? And I should like to ask where and when will President Carter’s study group meet and what would it discuss?
Callaghan: As I see it the preliminary study would be done among ourselves. I suggest that we establish a group of experts to work out the terms of reference for the evaluation program—detailed terms of references for the Carter program. I wonder, however, when we need to involve the Soviet Union. Perhaps not now, but in the second stage.
President Carter: Our contacts suggest that the Soviets do not want to come in at this stage but perhaps later.
Callaghan: As long as the Soviet Union does not feel excluded. We should ask our experts to meet quickly and report by the end of June or July. I am worried about one impact that will come out of this meeting. The experts group should be represented as part of the normal process of consultation. On location, I understand that Paris is pleasant in the spring. Our aides should agree on the terms of reference.
President Carter: Yes, two months is just about what is needed.
Trudeau: President Carter’s study would focus on whether reprocessing is good or necessary. But Giscard was asking a different question. He also asks what kind of safeguards are we talking about—legal or physical (sale or non-sale) of reprocessing plants. I am also worried about President Giscard’s point that safeguards should only be applied to other countries and not to the seven represented here. This is discrimination. If we go for safeguards they must apply to all of us. Also [Page 875]how do you apply legal safeguards to the US and France who have the bomb and Germany and Canada who do not but might want to produce some day.
Callaghan: Our people have to consider whether safeguards can be contained in a legal framework. There are a lot of technical questions. We should try to get the agreed facts. The group should consider whether safeguards should be confined to existing legal frameworks, with possible physical safeguards in addition.
President Carter: We are willing to let Japan have nuclear fuel, but we would want to tell Congress about the safeguards if that fuel is reprocessed. There are a number of questions raised about reprocessing. I would like to tell people that if the fuel is reprocessed there will be conditions. And we will have to have inspections on ourselves. Even though this will be a difficulty for those building bombs.
Trudeau: Will we apply these safeguards to ourselves? Unless we answer this question we cannot expect nuclear fuel.
Callaghan: UK has adopted international inspection procedures.
Trudeau: But the UK is not building the bomb.
Schmidt: I would not like to see this type of discussion in the press. Someone said that there might be the possibility of others keeping their own nuclear options open. Especially, then, I would not like to see any suggestion that some countries might not keep their international nuclear commitments. This would cause an up-roar in Germany.
But what do we say to our public? I did not know that it was agreed that the Ministers would see the press, but perhaps it cannot be avoided. We must be very careful not to provoke public opinion in other countries. We should be very careful in reporting to our press. Simply say we had a very valuable, necessary, discussion that we are not as far apart as has previously appeared in the press. We should not tell things to the press about what was said.
Schmidt: It is possible after the discussion to describe it with three sentences which represent the highest common denominator. The first sentence should say that we have set up a task force. We should limit ourselves to another long sentence on the terms of reference on the task force. You and your people could formulate this over dessert. We should agree on the terms of references and insure that there is not a great row in the press.
On the confidence issue good words can add confidence. It is also important that we represent orally and on TV only what we want to present. We made progress in understanding each other, and the way that we present this is important.
Giscard: Let me raise quickly a number of points. We must clarify our differences. One key issue is our supplies to third countries such as [Page 876]Iran and Brazil. One concrete problem is how we supply countries with plants without opening up charges of proliferation.
Second, if the system of safeguards applies to ourselves, we would cause difficulties as a number of agreements already exist such as among the UK, France and Germany, and France and Japan. We should not apply the same discipline to the US as to Brazil or India. With respect to the three party and two party agreement, should we cancel them? We should have mutual trust. We should not leave the impression that we are bringing our agreements among ourselves into question.
How can we meet our energy needs and achieve non-proliferation, or as little proliferation as possible? If we open up agreements among ourselves, we will not make much progress. I like the first few sentences of the US draft paper.6
Trudeau: President Giscard says we should discriminate in favor of ourselves. Chancellor Schmidt says we should treat everyone equal. This is a difference that is still not resolved. Although we will all be there tomorrow at the conclusion in Banquet Hall, we should have one spokesman so that our differences will not emerge. I think that it should be our Chairman.
Callaghan: The public point is important and cannot but have international repercussions. I agree with Helmet on the press briefing. We should keep this type of discussion out of the press. We can try a form of words.
Trudeau: We should not discuss the discrimination issue but simply talk about how we can meet energy requirements.
President Carter: Perhaps we can use the first three sentences of the US draft.
Schmidt: We can use those sentences and add that the group here has established a study of how this can be brought about.
Andreotti: I agree with that type of statement. I wish to stress that there are countries who having signed the NPT, particularly Article IV, do not wish to see this contested once again. We should say that we are not discussing Article IV, or policy which has been established.
Callaghan: Does anyone want to discuss Article IV?
Schmidt: This is not being put under question. We should say that it stands up.
Callaghan: Do we agree not to bring this into question?
Trudeau: With India, they say their energy is also for peaceful use. Should we send more nuclear material to India?[Page 877]
Callaghan: I know you would like guidelines which would relieve you of certain arbitrary decisions.
Trudeau: My electorate will say, “Is this what they agreed in London?” It will not impress my electorate.
Callaghan: You are saying this will not be enough to help you restore shipments of nuclear fuel to India.
President Carter: We are in different positions. The study will not help to resolve some of these difficulties but the results may help.
Trudeau: We are now imposing unilateral safeguards on everyone. If we go no further than we have this afternoon this will continue. We have suspended sales since December.
Callaghan: We should not be able to say we recognize the difficulties of the situation. We can have confidence. For the time being we should get the study going. We should say that the seven recognize the need to establish a system of international assurances but meanwhile have sufficient confidence in each other to decide when new shipments should be approved. But it is not possible on the basis of a 1-½ hour discussion to refer to physical safeguards of the type mentioned by Giscard.
Schmidt: I want the US to develop its nuclear technology. I want them to do it. The study should move ahead. Once the 8–10 week study is concluded it will take months and years to bring it into effect. We cannot now reach a just position which alleviates the burden of decision of the US and Canada. This is why other states also wish to explore these problems. Others have stakes in this field but are not represented. We should not exclude them or we will provoke them to do what we do not want them to do. We should ultimately find some way of including the threshold countries—not South Africa or Israel. Not inviting the threshold countries will not encourage confidence abroad.
The utmost that can be achieved is the three sentences of the US paper which will give the task force terms and say how this can be brought about. Then the matter can be discussed again and decisions made on the involvement of other countries.
Fukuda: I agree in principle with the experts committee. But I share some of the concerns already stated. Can the Soviet Union and China be persuaded to come in? I think that will take a long time. President Carter said the study should be completed in two months, but I am not sure that is quite workable.
The committee or task force would be of such a nature as to merely represent the views of the seven. The target of the group should be the end of June or something like that. With respect to press we should say that we discussed a broad range of issues, including future energy question, including other sources, and not just say we were discussing [Page 878]the reprocessing of spent fuels. We should say that we exchanged views on a broad range of issues on supply and demand for energy sources.
Callaghan: The US has stated the position that there should be a nuclear fuel cycle evaluation program. We are here trying to develop an understanding of the terms of references of the study and to try to meet the points the President has raised. It would work in parallel with the London Supplier Group. It would determine what is to be included and what is not to be included. The expert group would see whether terms of reference could be agreed for this program. The emphasis should be on meeting energy needs with as little proliferation as possible.
But we should recognize that this is only one aspect of energy in the communique as Prime Minister Fukuda pointed out. In addition the EC has some competence. We should come back tomorrow with some acceptable wording on this.
Genscher: We should make certain that the task force sees its goals as achievement of a system of safeguards against proliferation. We should say we are studying these conclusions but that before final decisions are made we will discuss them with the London Supplier Group. This will avoid any misunderstandings.
Giscard: The public will misunderstand if we say we are studying methods of non-proliferation. We should say that because of difficulties in the energy area we find it indispensable to develop nuclear energy. It should be on the basis of our energy requirements that we base our study.
Callaghan: We should try to meet our energy requirements with as little proliferation as possible. That is what I believe we agree we are trying to achieve.7
[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to non-proliferation.]
- Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Trip File, Box 3, President, Europe, 5/5–10/77: [Memcons]. Secret. According to the President’s Daily Diary, the meeting lasted from 3:30 to 6:16 p.m. and took place at 10 Downing Street. No list of participants for this meeting has been found. Carter visited London May 7–11 for the G–7 and NATO Summits. (Carter Library, Presidential Materials)↩
- See footnote 2, Document 317.↩
- Not found.↩
- Article IV of the Non-Proliferation Treaty stipulates that “Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties of the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination.” (Documents on Disarmament, 1968, pp. 461–465)↩
- On May 1, hundreds of demonstrators opposed to the construction of a nuclear power plant in Seabrook, NH were arrested. (John Kifner, “Hundreds Arrested in New Hampshire Atom Protest,” New York Times, May 2, 1977, p. 69)↩
- Not found.↩
- At the conclusion of the G–7 Summit, the members nations issued a declaration covering a range of issues. Regarding energy and nonproliferation, the nations pledged to “further conserve energy and increase and diversify energy production, so that we reduce our dependence on oil. We agree on the need to increase nuclear energy to help meet the world’s energy requirements. We commit ourselves to do this while reducing the risks of nuclear proliferation. We are launching an urgent study to determine how best to fulfill these purposes.” (Public Papers: Carter, 1977, pp. 819–824)↩