The Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement

If the president has obtained all the necessary guarantees from the cooperating country when concluding a 123 agreement, the agreement will function as an ex ante agreement between Congress and the executive branch, meaning that the agreement will enter into force without Congress taking the necessary action. In concrete terms, the statute describes a request for an uninterrupted 90-day meeting, after which the agreement will enter into force when a joint resolution on the rejection of the agreement has been adopted. As India`s nuclear program is largely self-developed, the country has used unique techniques that other countries can learn from. [58] As I have already said, 123 agreements are a critical part of this mix. But they should not be seen as the only instrument, because not all countries wishing to develop better civilian nuclear relations with the United States must start with a 123. And here`s the best part: the civil and nuclear cooperation agreements are also one of the most powerful instruments we have at our disposal to promote non-proliferation as a government, because nuclear law requires the highest standards in the world for the protection of non-proliferation, which is needed with U.S. partners in nuclear cooperation. These legal requirements are extremely important because they ensure that the 123 agreements concluded by the United States legally require our partners to comply with certain standards in areas such as peaceful use, security measures of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), physical protection of nuclear materials and prohibitions on enrichment, reprocessing or transfer of equipment and equipment subject to U.S. obligations without our consent. While lawmakers are debating the scope, scope and future of these agreements, Russia and China – which have much more robust nuclear export industries and less stringent legal standards – are of course developing nuclear capabilities for foreign partners. While more than 70 years have passed since the original idea of Atoms for Peace, the underlying geopolitical engine of civil nuclear cooperation – which foreign rivals would use nuclear energy to build at Washington`s expense around the world – has remained the same. There should also be a fear that well-intentioned civil nuclear cooperation could risk the deterioration of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime.

Well, one possibility is to cut off U.S. sources of certain technologies that Chinese nuclear companies have used in their efforts to compete with our companies. We have a new 123-year agreement with China since 2015, but we`ve also learned a lot about how China is using its cooperation with the U.S. nuclear industry to use the technologies it wants to use to compete with us – technology theft crimes, for example, for which the state-owned China General Nuclear Power Group is currently facing u.S. court. We have also learned a great deal about how the Chinese government is systematically trying to redirect civilian nuclear technology, including U.S. expertise, to projects that support their military construction and territorial ambitions in the South China Sea. As a result, in October 2018, the United States announced a new policy that would significantly limit the transfer of civilian nuclear technology to China. For the time being, the fate of these proposed amendments to the current framework of Agreement 123 is unclear and may depend on the outcome of the November 2020 presidential elections.

It is clear that over the past decade, Congress has become increasingly interested in amending the nuclear law to ensure increased oversight and control of U.S. civilian nuclear cooperation with foreign countries. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited Washington D.C on September 26, 2008 to celebrate the conclusion of the agreement with the United States.