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Tokyo Economic Summit Conference Statement on the Soviet Nuclear Reactor Accident at Chernobyl

May 05, 1986

1. We, the Heads of State or Government of seven major industrial nations and the Representatives of the European Community, have discussed the implications of the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power station. We express our deep sympathy for those affected. We remain ready to extend assistance, in particular medical and technical, as and when requested.

2. Nuclear power is and, properly managed, will continue to be an increasingly widely used source of energy. For each country the maintenance of safety and security is an international responsibility, and each country engaged in nuclear power generation bears full responsibility for the safety of the design, manufacture, operation and maintenance of its installations. Each of our countries meets exacting standards. Each country, furthermore, is responsible for prompt provision of detailed and complete information on nuclear emergencies and accidents, in particular those with potential transboundary consequences. Each of our countries accepts that responsibility, and we urge the Government of the Soviet Union, which did not do so in the case of Chernobyl, to provide urgently such information, as our and other countries have requested.

3. We note with satisfaction the Soviet Union's willingness to undertake discussions this week with the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). We expect that these discussions will lead to the Soviet Union's participation in the desired post-accident analysis.

4. We welcome and encourage the work of the IAEA in seeking to improve international cooperation on the safety of nuclear installations, the handling of nuclear accidents and their consequences, and the provision of mutual emergency assistance. Moving forward from the relevant IAEA guidelines, we urge the early elaboration of an international convention committing the parties to report and exchange information in the event of nuclear emergencies or accidents. This should be done with the least possible delay.

Ronald Reagan, Tokyo Economic Summit Conference Statement on the Soviet Nuclear Reactor Accident at Chernobyl Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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