• If necessary, provide some reasonable economic benefit for the Russians involved in the actual implementation, since any options without such benefit may not be negotiable.

  • Minimize additional proliferation risks due to the processes involved: For instance large numbers of transport steps or insufficiently secured intermediate storage must be avoided.

  • Maintain high standards of ES&H protection.

  • Provide for an international framework that offers a maximum of transparency and control: this is important for acceptability to the international community.


According to German export control legislation, nuclear technology transfer to Russia cannot take place without an export license and without safeguards. The concept of what constitutes technology transfer has been widened after the recent reform of the whole German export control system.1 In addition to required licenses for the transfer of “hardware” technologies, blueprints and technical consultancy have now become subject to licensing.

Apart from these legal requirements, for reasons of international security the extent of international safeguards in nuclear weapon states should be enhanced in the future. Although safeguards are not designed to detect the material diversion of amounts below “ significant quantities,” they create more discipline and trigger a centralized material accounting system. At the same time, a number international efforts are taking place which aim to reduce the proliferation risks posed by the existence of military and civilian nuclear materials and to create a more comprehensive international regime. Especially noteworthy are the negotiations for a cut-off agreement at the Conference of Disarmament at Geneva, which would result in international safeguards on military-related production facilities in the nuclear-weapon states, and efforts to establish an international plutonium regime that would enhance control and transparency of all existing plutonium stocks, including those in the nuclear-weapon states. Since success in these efforts is expected within a few years, international assistance for reducing the risks posed by plutonium from dismantled nuclear warheads should anticipate these higher standards whenever possible.

It is therefore essential that all recommended options be designed to be compatible with international safeguards. The only exception, for a limited time, is assistance to intermediate storage as long as intact pits are stored, because they involve proliferation-relevant and classified information.

Since at this time the Russians are reluctant to accept comprehensive international safeguards, it is not recommended that technical aid for the disposition of weapons plutonium be directly linked to a need for international safeguards on civilian plutonium. Otherwise, the acceptance of cooperation would be endangered. Nevertheless, the Steering Committee gives a strong


For a detailed overview see: H. Müller, M. Dembinski, A. Kelle, and A. Schaper, “From Black Sheep to White Angel. The Reform of the German Export Control System,” Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF) Report No. 32 (January 1994).

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