12 September 1978
I have the honour to refer to the contracts which have been signed between British Nuclear Fuels Limited (hereinafter referred to as BNFL) and N.V. Gemeenschappelijke Kernenergiecentrale Nederland (hereinafter referred to as GKN) for the reprocessing by BNFL of certain quantities of irradiated nuclear fuel to be collected from the Kingdom of the Netherlands over certain stated periods. It is a term of the said contracts that BNFL will have the option to deliver to GKN the radioactive waste which will arise from the reprocessing of the irradiated nuclear fuel in question (or the equivalent of such waste) provided that it has been put into a form in which it can be transported safely to the point of storage and stored in accordance with the relevant regulations. In addition the contracts specify to which conditions concerning the return of waste the commencement of reprocessing is related.
The Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland would accordingly be grateful for an assurance on behalf of the Government of the Netherlands, that the Government of the Netherlands do not intend to take any legislative or regulatory initiative which would prevent the due execution of the contract and in particular would prevent BNFL from exercising its contractual option to deliver the radioactive waste to GKN and that, within the framework of relevant national legal requirements, the Government of the Netherlands intends to facilitate the operation of the above option.
In connection with the foregoing, it is understood that the specifications relating to the return of waste, the approval of which is envisaged in the contracts, will have to be judged satisfactory by both governments and by other relevant authorities before reprocessing operations can commence.
I also have the honour to refer to Clause 21.2.3 of the said contract, and in this connection wish to state that it is the intention of the Government of the United Kingdom that plutonium returned to the Kingdom of the Netherlands will be in a form to be agreed between the two governments and in conformity with all applicable national and international regulations.
I have the honour to convey to Your Excellency the assurances of my highest consideration.
(sd.) R. SYKES
Dr. C. A. van der Klaauw
Minister for Foreign Affairs
of the Netherlands