President Carter today fulfilled a 10-year United States pledge for nuclear safeguards by submitting to the Senate for ratification a treaty with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The treaty would make all U.S. nuclear facilities, except those with direct national security significance, eligible for the application of safeguards by this international agency.
Under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the 99 nonnuclear weapon member states are required to accept IAEA safeguards on all of their peaceful nuclear facilities. While the NPT does not impose this duty on nuclear weapon states, the United States voluntary offer to enter into such a safeguards agreement has been extremely important in inducing other nations to adhere to the treaty. United States willingness to accept the same safeguards as the NPT requires for nonnuclear weapon states is tangible evidence of our belief that the NPT does not discriminate against nonnuclear weapon states. It also demonstrates the U.S. conviction that the application of international safeguards neither hampers the development of nuclear power nor puts the safeguarded party at a commercial disadvantage.
This offer by the United States to bring its nuclear facilities not having direct national security significance under international safeguards was first made on December 2, 1967, by President Lyndon Johnson. It has been endorsed by all succeeding administrations.
Upon entry into force, this treaty will be an additional signal to the world, including both nuclear supplier and recipient nations, of our continuing support for the universal application of IAEA safeguards, and our desire that all nations adhere to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
The safeguards call for inventory and design information to be submitted to the IAEA. The Agency's fundamental safeguards measure is the accounting of nuclear materials. The U.S. will submit to the Agency accounting reports on nuclear materials subject to safeguards.