Exports of Nuclear Fuels Letter to the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate.
Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act of 1978 (NNPA) amended the Atomic Energy Act to establish new criteria for nuclear exports. Included was a requirement that the U.S. have a right to consent to the reprocessing of fuel exported from the U.S.
Our agreements with the European Atomic Energy Community (EUR ATOM) do not contain such a right. To avoid disrupting cooperation with EURATOM, the NNPA included a proviso permitting continued cooperation until March 10, 1980, if EURATOM agreed to negotiations concerning our cooperation agreements.
In July 1978, EURATOM agreed to discussions on the agreements on the understanding that the issues being studied in the International Nuclear Fuel Cycle Evaluation (INFCE) would not be addressed in the US-EURATOM discussions until completion of INFCE, and that the results of INFCE would be taken into account in the final negotiations. We have had two rounds of such discussions with EURATOM—in November 1978 and September 1979. A third meeting is scheduled for April 1980, shortly after INFCE concludes its work.
To continue nuclear cooperation with EURATOM after March 10, 1980, we have to extend our waiver of the provision relating to U.S. approval of reprocessing. Under the law, this can be done only on an annual basis, and only after a Presidential determination that failure to cooperate would seriously prejudice the achievement of U.S. non-proliferation objectives or would otherwise jeopardize the common defense and security. The Act further provides for notification to the Congress of any such determination.
During the November 1978 and September 1979 discussions with EUR ATOM, progress was made in clarifying the issues and positions relating to our agreement for cooperation. Our next session with EURATOM, in April 1980, will be our first chance to deal with the substantive issues addressed in INFCE and to determine how we can factor the results of that study into our agreement for cooperation. Our continued cooperation with EURATOM during this period is essential to demonstrating our reliability as a reliable partner in the sensitive area of energy supply—and thus improving the prospects for international acceptance of measures to limit proliferation.
For these reasons, I have determined that failure to continue peaceful nuclear cooperation with the European Atomic Energy Community would be seriously prejudicial to the achievement of U.S. non-proliferation objectives and would otherwise jeopardize the common defense and security of the U.S. I will therefore issue, in the immediate future, an Executive Order extending the waiver of the application of the relevant export criterion of the NNPA for an additional twelve months from March 10, 1980.
Note: This is the text of identical letters addressed to Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr., Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Waiter F. Mondale, President of the Senate.
Jimmy Carter, Exports of Nuclear Fuels Letter to the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/249933