Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)

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  • Soumitra N. Pathak asked: How far is China's nuclear commerce with Pakistan in violation of its NSG membership? What steps other NSG members have taken to check it?

    Kapil Patil replies: China’s civil nuclear cooperation with Pakistan is governed by the “Agreement for Co-operation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy” signed on September 15, 1986. The agreement is of indefinite time period and continues to be the basis for bilateral civil nucler cooperation, even after China formally became a member of the Nucler Suppliers Group (NSG) in 2004.

    Akhila Reddy Asked: What are the advantages if India becomes a member of the NSG?

    S. Samuel C. Rajiv replies: The 48-member NSG is a key multi-lateral body regulating nuclear trade. India is one of the few countries outside the NSG that has ‘full-cycle’ expertise on nuclear technology. The NSG would therefore be strengthened if a country with the capabilities of India, which intends to take part in international nuclear commerce, is admitted. India’s membership will formalise its entry into a body that was established in response to the 1974 PNE. Given that the NSG has already approved the India-specific waiver in September 2008, admitting India in the backdrop of its long-standing and impeccable non-proliferation credentials would strengthen norms that incentivise good non-proliferation behaviour and vice-versa.

    For further information and the debate surrounding India and NSG membership, please refer to the following IDSA publications:

    G. Balachandran, “India and NSG: Approaches to Indian Membership”, IDSA Issue Brief, May 23, 2013.
    Rajiv Nayan, “India’s NSG Membership”, IDSA Comment, June 18, 2011.

    China’s Reactor Sale to Pakistan: The Known Unknowns

    The reported offer of China to sell 1000 MWe reactors to Pakistan has raised a number of issues. China applied for NSG membership in 2004 only after being satisfied that it can safeguard its nuclear commerce with Pakistan even after joining NSG. It must be clearly understood that China’s application for joining NSG was at the repeated appeals of NSG and not the other way around.

    November 15, 2013

    India can be a credible partner of the NSG

    Some of the members are expressing unnecessary apprehensions regarding India’s membership. Unlike China, India has a track record of complying with obligations of any treaty or agreement it signs.

    July 29, 2013

    NSG Plenary Meeting: Nothing Inspiring

    The Prague plenary seemingly skirted the ongoing China-Pakistan nuclear collaboration, now a well known chronic weakness of the NSG. Even the public statement did not mention a single line about this collaboration.

    July 11, 2013

    India and NSG: Approaches to Indian membership

    India’s admission to the NSG has, as on the previous times when the India-US Nuclear Deal and the NSG exemption of 2008 were under discussion, caused many of those opposed to the Indian nuclear programme to come out with various policy suggestions on how to get India to agree on additional conditionalities. In addition there is a move by many to use the Indian admission for membership as a means to legitimize the illegitimate nuclear commerce between China and Pakistan. All these are predicated on the assumption that India is desperate to join the NSG. India should reject any move by the nonproliferation lobby to devise a criterion-based admission procedure.

    May 23, 2013

    China nurtures its nuclear nexus with Pakistan

    China and Pakistan reached a formal agreement in February 2013 to construct a third nuclear reactor in Chashma. This has caused widespread nervousness while making the NSG look weak-kneed.

    April 05, 2013

    Update on India’s Membership of Multilateral Export Controls Regimes

    Both the government as well and the strategic community are convinced that India must not join the Australia Group without a road map for the MTCR and the NSG.

    December 19, 2012

    Australia’s Uranium Export to India and Pakistan’s Claim

    Concerned about Pakistan’s nuclear and missile programmes, Australia has blocked the shipment of dual-use equipment to Pakistan on at least three occasions during the past two years.

    December 14, 2011

    Uranium from Down Under: Can Madam Gillard Pull it off?

    Prime Minister Gillard's decision to reverse the uranium export policy not just indicates a dramatic shift in Australia’s strategic outlook, but also could endow a decisive fillip to its crisis-hit uranium industry.

    November 21, 2011