Nuclear Suppliers Group

Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is a group of nuclear supplier countries that seek to prevent nuclear proliferation by controlling the export of nuclear materials, equipment and technology (both dual-use and specially designed and prepared) that can be used to manufacture nuclear weapons.

The NSG was founded in response to the Indian nuclear test (code-named Smiling Buddha) in May 1974. The test demonstrated that certain non-weapons specific nuclear technology could be readily turned to weapons development. Nations already signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) saw the need to further limit the export of nuclear equipment, materials or technology.

The founder members of NSG first met in November 1975.

A series of meetings in London from 1975 to 1978 resulted in agreements on the guidelines for export. A “Trigger List” was also published by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Listed items could only be exported to non-nuclear states if certain IAEA safeguards were agreed to or if exceptional circumstances relating to safety existed.

The NSG Guidelines are published by the IAEA in its Information Circular series. INFCIRC/254 Part 1 contains the Guidelines for Nuclear Transfers, and INFCIRC/254 Part 2 contains the Guidelines for Transfers of Nuclear-Related Dual-Use Equipment, Material and Related Technology.

As of 2016, the NSG has 48 members. The European Commission and the Zangger Committee Chair participate as observers. The NSG Chair for 2015-2016 is Argentina.

Admitting a new member to the NSG requires a unanimous consensus of all current members.

India is not yet a member of NSG. However, during a state visit to India in November 2010, US president Barack Obama announced US support for India’s bid for permanent membership to UN Security Council as well as India’s entry to Nuclear Suppliers Group, Wassenaar Arrangement, Australia Group and Missile Technology Control Regime.


Also read: India’s quest for NSG membership.

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