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Australian Government - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Advancing the interests of Australia and Australians internationally

Australian Government - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Advancing the interests of Australia and Australians internationally

Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office

Annual Report 2000-2001

Output B Bilateral Safeguards

Development and implementation of bilateral safeguards measures that ensure nuclear material and items exported from Australia remain in exclusively peaceful use.

Milestone B1

Internationally agreed standards for physical protection of nuclear material are applied to all AONM.

Activities

ASNO continued past practice, requiring exporters to adopt and report on specific procedures to ensure appropriate levels of physical protectionfor shipments of uranium ore concentrates (UOC) from Australia to the port of unloading overseas. These procedures included checking on the physical condition of the containers and verifying the container and seal numbers at each port of unloading or transhipment.

At the time of export ASNO contacts its counterparts in countries through which the material will transit alerting them to the need to protect appropriately AONM within its jurisdiction.

Administrative Security Arrangements (ASA) pursuant to the Australia/United States Silex Agreement were put in place in September 2000. These were revised in May 2001. The ASA covers procedures to be applied when classified SILEX technology is transferred and specifies the level of protection to be applied in the receiving country. A joint classification guide was finalised with the US in May 2001 to ensure that SILEX technology is protected to an equivalent standard in both Australia and the USA.

Performance Assessment

Reporting by conversion facilities, safeguards authorities and shipping agencies confirms that all AONMshipments from Australia safely reached their destinations. The specified physical protection measures effectively contributed to this good outcome.

Milestone B2

AONM in countries with which Australia has concluded nuclear safeguards agreements is accounted for in accordance with procedures and standards prescribed under relevant agreements.

Activities

Exports of Uranium Ore Concentrates (UOC)

Between 1 July 2000 and 30 June 2001 there were 64 shipments of UOC from Australia. These were from the Ranger mine, Northern Territory, and the Olympic Dam and Beverley mines, South Australia. Exports totalled 9,722 tonnes of U3O8 or U3O8 equivalent as UOC; export earnings were over $497 million. Further information on Australia's uranium exports is at page 68.

Exporters shipped UOC to conversion facilities in the UK, the US, France and Canada. ASNO notified each export to the safeguards authorities in relevant countries. In every case, those safeguards authorities confirmed to ASNO receipt of each shipment. ASNO also notified the IAEA of each export: to non-nuclear-weapon states pursuant to Article 35(a) of Australias NPT safeguards agreement with the IAEA; and to nuclear-weapon states under the IAEAs Voluntary Reporting. Receiving countries similarly reported receipts to the IAEA.

The shippers weight for each consignment was entered on ASNOs record of the relevant countrys inventory of AONM. These weights, subject to amendment by measured Shipper/Receiver Differences, are the basic source data for ASNOs system of accounting for AONM throughout the international nuclear fuel cycle.

Operation of bilateral agreements

Reports from ASNOs counterpart organisations were provided in a timely fashion and in the agreed format which enabled analysis and reconciliation with ASNOs records.

Messrs Bellinger and Leask visited the EuratomSafeguards Office (ESO) in November 2000 and February 2001 respectively. These regular visits have proven invaluable to ASNOs appreciation of ESOs practices and procedures for accounting for nuclear material in the European Community and in developing a closer cooperative relationship. In June 2001 an EU delegation travelled to Canberra for nuclear policy consultations, as provided for under the Australia/Euratom safeguards agreement. ASNO participated in these consultations, and hosted a technical meeting with ESO associated with the consultations. At this meeting ASNO and ESO concluded a revision of the Administrative Arrangements under the Agreement to clarify reporting arrangements.

In addition to the Australia/Euratom nuclear policy consultations, ASNO also participated in nuclear policy consultations with Japan and the ROK, pursuant to the respective Agreements.

During May 2001 Messrs Bellinger and Doulgeris held technical discussions with ASNOs counterpart organisations in the US, Japan, the UK and Sweden. These discussions covered the reconciliation of accounting figures under the respective Agreements and a range of technical issues germane to their operation.

In addition to the consultations referred to above, during the year Messrs Carlson and Leask had discussions with senior officials in the US and Japan.

Figure 5 Mr Santos-Bento, representing ESO, and Mr Carlson signing revised Administrative Arrangements under the Australia/Euratom safeguards agreement.

Laser enrichment technology

The arrangements established by ASNO with the US covering the transfer of the SILEX laser enrichmenttechnology control both the way in which the technology must be protected and exactly what this technology can be used for. If SILEX technology is adopted by the US company USEC, uranium enriched by this technology will become subject to the same requirements as uranium exported to the US from Australia, i.e. it will become AONM.

Performance Assessment

On the basis of reporting, other information and analysis, ASNO concludes that all AONM has been accounted for satisfactorily.

ASNOs counterparts have either confirmed receipt of all relevant exports in accordance with the requirements of the bilateral safeguards agreements or are investigating the transfer. In addition, the IAEA provides ASNO with regular acknowledgments of ASNOs notifications of international transfers of nuclear material to and from Australia. The IAEA has confirmed that, as at 11 July 2001 there were no outstanding unconfirmed shipments to Australia (i.e. imports). Similarly, receipt of all of Australias exports up to 11 July 2001 has been confirmed through the IAEAs transit matching system.

As at 30 June 2001 ASNO had satisfactorily accounted for AONM located overseas through, inter alia, the annual reports (made pursuant to bilateral agreements) and other information provided by relevant bilateral treaty partners, namely Canada, Euratom, Finland, France, Japan, New Zealand, ROK, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the US. Australias other bilateral partnersEgypt, Mexico, the Philippines and the Russian Federationdid not hold AONM in 2000 (Mexico received its first AONM in March 2001 and therefore will submit the initial annual report under the agreement in 2001-02).

Given that AONM located overseas has been accounted for satisfactorily and is under IAEA safeguards, and drawing on the IAEAs Safeguards Statement for 2000 (see page 67), ASNO concludes that no AONM has been used for non-peaceful purposes.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade