[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book I)]
[January 28, 1998]
[Pages 134-136]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Message to the Congress Transmitting the Switzerland-United States 
Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation Agreement With Documentation
January 28, 1998

To the Congress of the United States:
    I am pleased to transmit to the Congress, pursuant to sections 123 
b. and 123 d. of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (42 U.S.C. 
2153(b), (d)), the text of a proposed Agreement for Cooperation Between 
the Government of the United States of America and the Swiss Federal 
Council Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, with accompanying 
agreed minute, annexes, and other attachments. I am also pleased to 
transmit my written approval, authorization, and determination 
concerning the agreement, and the memorandum of the Director of the 
United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency with the Nuclear 
Proliferation Assessment Statement concerning the agreement. The joint 
memorandum submitted to me by the Secretary of State and the Secretary 
of Energy, which includes a summary of the provisions of the agreement 
and other attachments, including the views of the Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission, is also enclosed.

[[Page 135]]

    The proposed new agreement with Switzerland has been negotiated in 
accordance with the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended by the Nuclear 
Non-Proliferation Act of 1978 (NNPA) and as otherwise amended. It 
replaces an earlier agreement with Switzerland signed December 30, 1965, 
which expired by its terms August 8, 1996. The proposed new agreement 
will provide an updated, comprehensive framework for peaceful nuclear 
cooperation between the United States and Switzerland, will facilitate 
such cooperation, and will establish strengthened nonproliferation 
conditions and controls including all those required by the NNPA. The 
new agreement provides for the transfer of moderator material, nuclear 
material, and equipment for both nuclear research and nuclear power 
purposes. It does not provide for transfers under the agreement of any 
sensitive nuclear technology (SNT). (U.S. law permits SNT to be 
transferred outside the coverage of an agreement for cooperation 
provided that certain other conditions are satisfied. However, the 
Administration has no plans to transfer SNT to Switzerland outside the 
    The proposed agreement has an initial term of 30 years, and will 
continue in force indefinitely thereafter in increments of 5 years each 
until terminated in accordance with its provisions. In the event of 
termination, key nonproliferation conditions and controls, including 
guarantees of safeguards, peaceful use and adequate physical protection, 
and the U.S. right to approve retransfers to third parties, will remain 
effective with respect to transferred moderator materials, nuclear 
materials, and equipment, as well as nuclear material produced through 
their use. The agreement also establishes procedures for determining the 
survival of additional controls.
    Switzerland has strong nonproliferation credentials. It is a party 
to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and has 
an agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for the 
application of full-scope IAEA safeguards within its territory. In 
negotiating the proposed agreement, the United States and Switzerland 
took special care to elaborate a preamble setting forth in specific 
detail the broad commonality of our shared nonproliferation commitments 
and goals.
    The proposed new agreement provides for very stringent controls over 
certain fuel cycle activities, including enrichment, reprocessing, and 
alteration in form or content and storage of plutonium and other 
sensitive nuclear materials. The United States and Switzerland have 
accepted these controls on a reciprocal basis, not as a sign of either 
Party's distrust of the other, and not for the purpose of interfering 
with each other's fuel cycle choices, which are for each Party to 
determine for itself, but rather as a reflection of our common 
conviction that the provisions in question represent an important norm 
for peaceful nuclear commerce.
    In view of the strong commitment of Switzerland to the international 
nonproliferation regime, the comprehensive nonproliferation commitments 
that Switzerland has made, the advanced technological character of the 
Swiss civil nuclear program, the long history of U.S.-Swiss cooperation 
in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy without any risk of 
proliferation, and the long-standing close and harmonious political 
relationship between Switzerland and the United States, the proposed new 
agreement provides to Switzerland advance, long-term U.S. approval for 
retransfers to specified facilities in the European Atomic Energy 
Community (EURATOM) of nuclear material subject to the agreement for 
reprocessing, alteration in form or content, and storage, and for the 
return to Switzerland of recovered nuclear materials, including 
plutonium, for use or storage at specified Swiss facilities. The 
proposed agreement also provides advance, long-term U.S. approval for 
retransfers from Switzerland of source material, uranium (other than 
high enriched uranium), moderator material, and equipment to a list of 
countries and groups of countries acceptable to the United States. Any 
advance, long-term approval may be suspended or terminated if it ceases 
to meet the criteria set out in U.S. law, including criteria relating to 
safeguards and physical protection.
    In providing advance, long-term approval for certain nuclear fuel 
cycle activities, the proposed agreement has features similar to those 
in several other agreements for cooperation that the United States has 
entered into subsequent to enactment of the NNPA. These include U.S. 
agreements with Japan and EURATOM. Among the documents I am transmitting 
herewith to the Congress is an analysis of the advance, long-term 
approvals contained in the proposed U.S. agreement with Switzerland. The 
analysis concludes that the approvals meet all requirements of the 
Atomic Energy Act, as amended.

[[Page 136]]

    I believe that the proposed agreement for cooperation with 
Switzerland will make an important contribution to achieving our 
nonproliferation, trade, and other significant foreign policy goals.
    In particular, I am convinced that this agreement will strengthen 
the international nuclear nonproliferation regime, support of which is a 
fundamental objective of U.S. national security and foreign policy, by 
setting a high standard for rigorous nonproliferation conditions and 
    Because the agreement contains all the consent rights and guarantees 
required by current U.S. law, it represents a substantial upgrading of 
the U.S. controls in the recently-expired 1965 agreement with 
    I believe that the new agreement will also demonstrate the U.S. 
intention to be a reliable nuclear trading partner with Switzerland, and 
thus help ensure the continuation and, I hope, growth of U.S. civil 
nuclear exports to Switzerland.
    I have considered the views and recommendations of the interested 
agencies in reviewing the proposed agreement and have determined that 
its performance will promote, and will not constitute an unreasonable 
risk to, the common defense and security. Accordingly, I have approved 
the agreement and authorized its execution and urge that the Congress 
give it favorable consideration.
    Because this agreement meets all applicable requirements of the 
Atomic Energy Act, as amended, for agreements for peaceful nuclear 
cooperation, I am transmitting it to the Congress without exempting it 
from any requirement contained in section 123 a. of the Act. This 
transmission shall constitute a submittal for purposes of both sections 
123 b. and 123 d. of the Atomic Energy Act. The Administration is 
prepared to begin immediately the consultations with the Senate Foreign 
Relations and House International Relations Committees as provided in 
section 123 b. Upon completion of the 30-day continuous session period 
provided for in section 123 b., the 60-day continuous session period 
provided for in section 123 d. shall commence.

                                                      William J. Clinton

The White House,

January 28, 1998.

Note: This message was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on 
January 29.