NSG Timeline

  • 1974

    The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) was created following the explosion in 1974 of a nuclear device by a non-nuclear-weapon State, which demonstrated that nuclear technology transferred for peaceful purposes could be misused.

  • 1978

    The NSG Guidelines were published in 1978 by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as IAEA document INFCIRC/254 (subsequently amended), to apply to nuclear transfers for peaceful purposes to help ensure that such transfers would not be diverted to an unsafeguarded nuclear fuel cycle or nuclear explosive activities.

  • 1990

    At the 1990 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, a number of recommendations were made by the committee reviewing the implementation of Article III, which had a significant impact on the NSG's activities in the 1990s.

  • 1992

    In 1992, the NSG decided to establish Guidelines for transfers of nuclear-related dual-use equipment, material and technology (items which have both nuclear and non-nuclear applications), which could make a significant contribution to an unsafeguarded nuclear fuel cycle or nuclear explosive activity. These Dual-Use Guidelines were published as Part 2 of INFCIRC/254, and the original Guidelines published in 1978 became Part 1 of INFCIRC/254.

  • 1995

    The endorsement at the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference (NPTREC) of the full-scope Safeguards policy, already adopted by the NSG in 1992, clearly reflected the conviction of the international community that this nuclear supply policy is a vital element to promote shared nuclear non-proliferation commitments and obligations.

  • 2000

    NSG Participating Governments (PGs) prepared a comprehensive information paper on the NSG for the 2000 NPT Review Conference. This was disseminated on the IAEA website as INFCIRC/539/Rev. 1 (Corr.) in November 2000, under the title “The NSG: Its Origins, Roles and Activities”.

  • 2004

    The 2004 NSG Plenary (Göteborg) decided to adopt a “catch-all” mechanism in the NSG Guidelines, to provide a national legal basis to control the export of nuclear related items that are not on the control lists, when such items are or may be intended for use in connection with a nuclear weapons programme.

  • 2005

    The 2005 NSG Plenary (Oslo) adopted a decision that supplier and recipient states should elaborate appropriate measures to invoke fall-back safeguards if the IAEA can no longer undertake its Safeguards mandate in a recipient state.

  • 2008

    At an extraordinary NSG Plenary in Vienna, convened by the 2008 NSG Chair (Germany), PGs adopted a policy statement on civil nuclear cooperation with the IAEA-safeguarded Indian civil nuclear program - INFCIRC/734 (corrected).

  • 2010

    To keep pace with advances in technology, market trends and security challenges, the 2010 NSG Plenary (Christchurch) agreed to establish a technical group to conduct a fundamental review of the NSG’s Trigger and Dual-Use Lists. The technical working group was called the Dedicated Meeting of Technical Experts (DMTE).

  • 2011

    The 2011 NSG Plenary (Noordwijk) agreed to strengthen the NSG Part 1 Guidelines on the transfer of sensitive enrichment and reprocessing technologies (paragraph 6 and paragraph 7).

  • 2012

    The 2012 NSG Plenary (Seattle) endorsed the recommendation of the NSG Consultative Group (CG) to approve 26 technical proposals from the DMTE. The Plenary also approved an amendment to the NSG Part 1 Guidelines, adding a new paragraph 12 entitled “Support for Access to Nuclear Fuel for Peaceful Uses”.

  • 2013

    The Fundamental Review was completed at the 2013 NSG Plenary (Prague). The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) published all 54 agreed amendments in revised IAEA documents INFCIRC/254/Part 1 and INFCIRC/254/Part 2 on 13 November 2013. The 2013 NSG Plenary agreed to amend Paragraph 3.a and Annex C of the Part 1 Guidelines to reference recognized IAEA recommendations for physical protection and agreed to launch the new, revised NSG website to facilitate information sharing with the public in multiple languages.

The History of the NSG Logo

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At the time of the 1999 Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) Plenary, hosted by the Italian government in the city of Florence, the city government honoured the NSG with the rights to use one of Michelangelo Buonarroti’s architectural designs. The Campidoglio pattern has been part of the NSG logo since.

Working between 1536 and 1546, Michelangelo designed the Piazza del Campidoglio as a civic centre and a grand symbol of Rome.  The 1568 engraving by Étienne Dúperac was an early depiction of Michelangelo's solution to unifying the irregular shape of the Capitoline hilltop and to provide harmony to the piazza.  The new Piazza del Campidoglio included three palazzi that did not face each other squarely.  The piazza is best approached by the staircase called the Cordonata, which brings visitors skyward up a long and steep slope to reach the centre of city government.  Michelangelo’s design for the piazza successfully accommodates the unevenness of the hilltop and trapezoidal arrangement of buildings and is slightly egg-shaped and not oval, narrower at the northwest end nearest the Cordonata.  The design itself is a variation of common Renaissance geometric designs featuring circles and squares.  The twelve-pointed star of inter-laced lines reminded many viewers of constellations revolving around a space called Caput mundi, Latin for "head of the world."  Accordingly, Michelangelo’s Campidoglio design was not welcomed by the Church, which might have detected a less-than-Christian context.  Little was completed before Michelangelo’s death in 1564.  The final paving was only completed in 1940.

Michelangelo’s design was used to bring harmony and order to the irregularly-shaped Capitoline hilltop.  For the NSG it symbolizes the Participating Governments’ continuing effort to bring order to a sometimes uneven export control system and non-proliferation landscape.

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