The document requires the export firm to “cooperate with the customer to incorporate the customer state’s Design Basis Threat”--a detailed report on potential dangers posed to a planned facility by outsiders or its own personnel, such as thefts or acts of sabotage--and to “incorporate within design provisions the potential for damage from security threats in accordance with” that assessment.
Before signing off on a deal to construct a nuclear power plant, an export firm must obtain data from the Design Basis Threat report “sufficient to allow the vendor to complete the design,” the principles state. “The threat and risk analysis should take into account plant location and conditions in the region as well as internationally accepted standards.”
In addition, a purchasing government dealing with one of the participating companies must first join the IAEA Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials and the U.N. International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism. In addition, it must put in place “a national legislative and regulatory infrastructure for nuclear security” that sets out associated duties to plant operators and government agencies and addresses the Design Basis Threat as well as the general public interest.
The principles permit exporters to provide client governments and purchasing entities with data to confirm that protective design features meet IAEA guidelines or another “well established standard.”
The document affirms the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty’s prohibition on military-related nuclear sales, as well as related international and domestic export control rules. In addition, exporters pledged in the agreement to “pay special attention to and promote proliferation-resistant designs and take IAEA safeguards requirements into account in design.”
The signatories commit in the principles to notifying one another “as appropriate” and a purchasing entity’s host state “of any serious nonproliferation concerns related to the equipment, materials and technology provided.”
The export firms “welcome” language in bilateral nuclear trade deals “requiring a customer state to implement effective nuclear export controls and to have an IAEA Additional Protocol in force,” the agreement states.
The participating firms plan to review and potentially revise the document at a series of review meetings starting in December. The upcoming sessions would focus on crafting a mechanism for verifying compliance with the voluntary standards, and the exporters would establish a “permanent secretariat” to play a monitoring role, Levite said.
In addition, the exporters plan in upcoming meetings to share “best pertinent practices, [such as] how you would make nuclear power plants [in an] engineering fashion more safeguards-friendly,” Levite said, regarding measures to ensure that power plant materials or technologies are not turned toward weapons operations.