MEDIA RELEASE

DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE AUSTRALIA

3 August 2000

Amendment to Australia-Japan bilateral Safeguards Agreement

Australia and Japan have exchanged Diplomatic Notes as the first step towards a minor amendment of an attachment to the bilateral nuclear safeguards agreement.

This attachment is known as the Delineated and Recorded Japanese Nuclear Fuel Cycle Program, and referred to as the "Capsule" at the working level.

The Notes were exchanged in Canberra on 16 June and 1 August 2000.

The Capsule lists the facilities at which Australian nuclear material may be processed, used or reprocessed.

The Notes propose to add four facilities, in Europe, to the Capsule.

The facilities to be added are, Belgonucleaire's Dessel MOX Fabrication Plant (Belgium), Franco-Belge de Fabrication de Combustibles International's Dessel Plant (Belgium), Companie Generale des Matieres Nucleaires's MELOX Plant (France), and Companie Generale des Matieres Nucleaires's Cadarache Fuel Fabrication Utility (France).

The facilities are being added for the purpose of Mixed Oxide Fuel (MOX) fabrication for light water reactors.

The Notes are expected to be tabled in the Federal Parliament later in the year.