ANS to Congress: Don’t prohibit civil nuclear cooperation with China

June 30, 2021, 3:00PMANS News

The American Nuclear Society sent a letter this morning to the chairman and the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, urging them to oppose any amendments to H.R. 3524, the Ensuring American Global Leadership and Engagement Act, that would disallow U.S. cooperation with China in the field of civil nuclear energy.

The bill, introduced on May 25 by the Foreign Affairs Committee chairman, Rep. Gregory Meeks (D., N.Y.), was scheduled for markup by the committee this afternoon at 1:00 (EDT).

The ANS position: The letter—signed by Craig Piercy, executive director and chief executive officer of ANS—states that some lawmakers have called for a total cessation of bilateral nuclear cooperation between the two superpowers and cites S. 1260, the Endless Frontiers Act, passed recently by the Senate, which “contains a provision (Section 2515) that restricts the U.S. government’s ability to work on or agree to any nuclear cooperation activities with China or with any company owned by the Chinese government.”

This approach, ANS argues, while “politically seductive,” would result in “significant harm to America’s ability to influence international nuclear safety and nonproliferation norms.”

The letter further notes that the 2018 U.S. Policy Framework on Civil Nuclear Cooperation with China “precludes transfer of technology related to SMRs, advanced reactors, and other technologies that were not already transferred before January 1, 2018.”

Attached to the letter is a fact sheet that expands on ANS’s argument.

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