U.S. civil nuclear cooperation pacts—so-called 123 Agreements—are too strict, says Michael Shellenberger, founder and president of Environmental Progress, in an August 13 City Journal article.
Shellenberger reasons that the 123 Agreements force nations that have expressed interest in developing nuclear energy programs to turn to Russia and China. That result is bad, Shellenberger continues, not only for the American nuclear industry, but also for the global nonproliferation movement.
Recent reports regarding China’s assistance to Saudi Arabia in building a nuclear fuel facility, Shellenberger says, “should serve as a wake-up call to Congress and the national security and nonproliferation community. It’s time for the U.S. to realign its policies with the [Non-Proliferation Treaty] and take action to compete with the Chinese and Russians.” Shellenberger’s recommendations include naming a “national champion” nuclear construction firm or creating a state-owned firm capable of competing with the Russians and Chinese.
Shellenberger’s piece, “Why the War on Nuclear Threatens Us All,” can be found here.