Indian and Pakistani Nuclear Industry Personnel: Contacts

House of Lords written question – answered on 27th March 2001.

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Photo of Lord Woolmer of Leeds Lord Woolmer of Leeds Labour

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is their policy on contacts between United Kingdom nuclear industry personnel and nationals of India and Pakistan.

Photo of Baroness Scotland of Asthal Baroness Scotland of Asthal Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Our policy on contacts with India and Pakistan on nuclear issues is set out in a statement to Parliament by the then Minister of State, Tony Lloyd, on 10 July 1998. However, where contact between UK nuclear scientists and nuclear industry personnel and Indian and Pakistani individuals is judged not to be of proliferation concern, we will, on a case-by-case basis, consider making an exception to the policy.

We have decided to make such an exception for an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) research co-ordination meeting on nuclear reactor decommissioning which, following a request by the IAEA, British Nuclear Fuels Ltd (BNFL) have agreed to host. Participants from several countries, including India and Pakistan, will be invited to attend the meeting, to be held in the United Kingdom in May 2001. In view of our policy we were consulted by BNFL on the IAEA proposal. We firmly support the work of the IAEA and the safe decommissioning of nuclear reactors and judge that the meeting will not in any way assist the development of weapons of mass destruction. We will continue to consider future cases individually.

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