American Nuclear Society Cautions Congress Against China Ban

July 1, 2021, 9:07AMPress Releases

LaGrange Park, IL – The American Nuclear Society (ANS) urges Congress to oppose any amendment to H.R. 3524 – Ensuring American Global Leadership and Engagement Act – that bans U.S.-China nuclear energy cooperation. The House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC) is slated to markup H.R. 3524 on June 30.

“On behalf of the 10,000 members of the American Nuclear Society (ANS), we request that you oppose any amendments to H.R. 3524 that would cut off U.S.–China nuclear energy cooperation,” wrote ANS CEO and Executive Director Craig Piercy in a June 30 letter to HFAC Chairman Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) and Ranking Member Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX).

ANS cautioned against a blanket ban on U.S.-China nuclear cooperation as the embargo would undermine global nuclear safety standards and inflict significant harm to the U.S. nuclear energy industry and supply chain – without providing any benefits.

“Some in Congress have called for a total cessation of bilateral nuclear cooperation between China and the U.S.,” continued Piercy. “Politically seductive though it may be, such a policy approach would ultimately do significant harm to America’s ability to influence international nuclear safety and nonproliferation norms.”

“Do we really want to shut the door to all cooperation on operational safety issues, when an ‘accident anywhere’ is still an ‘accident everywhere?’” Piercy asked.

Proposed moves to ban any U.S.-China nuclear cooperation include recent legislation passed by the Senate, S.1260 – Endless Frontiers Act, 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.

ANS reminded committee members that the 2018 U.S. Policy Framework on Civil Nuclear Cooperation with China already precludes technology transfers related to small modular reactors, advanced reactors and other nuclear technologies not transferred prior to 2018.

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