Nuclear Suppliers Group

Nuclear Suppliers Group was formed by  seven countries viz. Canada, West Germany, France, Japan, the USSR, the United Kingdom, and the United States in response to the ‘Smiling Buddha’ (Pokharan-I) of India in 1974. It was clear from this adventure of India that certain non-weapons specific nuclear technology could be readily turned to weapons development, since it was alleged that India used the Canada sourced material to make bomb. The objective of the NSG was to reduce nuclear proliferation by controlling the export and re-transfer of materials that may be applicable to nuclear weapon development and by improving safeguards and protection on existing materials.

  • The objective of the NSG was to strengthen the NPT. It placed an embargo upon India for nuclear material which was placed by the group in a so called Trigger List.
  • It has brought out a guideline for export items that could only be exported to non-nuclear states if certain International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards were agreed to or if exceptional circumstances relating to safety existed. The series of meetings to finalise these guidelines held in London, so it was also called London Club or London Group.
  • In 2006, the US Congress allowed the US laws to be amended to accommodate civilian nuclear trade with India. It was followed by a meeting of the NSG members in August 2008, in which some members expressed reservations.

However, in September 2008, NSG members agreed to grant India a ‘clean waiver’ from its existing rules, which forbid nuclear trade with the non signatory of NPT. This approval was based on a formal pledge by India stating that it would not share sensitive nuclear technology or material with others and will uphold its voluntary moratorium on testing nuclear weapons. The pledge was contained in a crucial statement issued during the NSG meeting by India outlining the country’s disarmament and non-proliferation policies.  In this way the 34 year embargo was lifted in 2008. India has formally applied to become a member of NSG but so far that application has not been approved.