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Letter to the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate on Continuing Nuclear Cooperation With EURATOM

February 24, 1981

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

The United States has been engaged in nuclear cooperation with the European Community for many years. This cooperation was initiated under agreements concluded over two decades ago between the United States and the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM) and extends until December 31, 1995. Since the inception of this cooperation, the Community has adhered to all its obligations.

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act of 1978 amended the Atomic Energy Act to establish nuclear export criteria, including a requirement that the United States have a right to consent to the reprocessing of fuel exported from the United States. Our present agreements for cooperation with EURATOM do not contain such a right. To avoid disrupting cooperation with EURATOM, a proviso was included in the law to enable continued cooperation until March 10, 1980, and provide for negotiations concerning our cooperation agreements.

The law also provides that nuclear cooperation with EURATOM can be extended on an annual basis after March 10, 1980, upon determination by the President that failure to cooperate would seriously prejudice the achievement of United States nonproliferation objectives or otherwise jeopardize the common defense and security and after notification to the Congress. President Carter made such a determination last year and signed Executive Order 12193, permitting continued nuclear cooperation with EURATOM until March 10, 1981.

The United States has engaged in three rounds of talks with EURATOM regarding the renegotiation of the US-EURATOM agreements for cooperation. These were conducted in November 1978, September 1979, and April 1980. Progress has been made toward clarifying the issues relating to these agreements, and the talks will be continuing.

I believe that it is essential that cooperation between the United States and the Community continue and likewise that we work closely with our Allies to counter the threat of nuclear explosives proliferation. Accordingly, I have determined that failure to continue peaceful nuclear cooperation with EURATOM would be seriously prejudicial to the achievement of United States non-proliferation objectives and would jeopardize the common defense and security of the United States. I intend to sign an Executive Order to extend the waiver of the application of the relevant export criterion of the NNPA for an additional twelve months from March 10, 1981.



Note: This is the text of identical letters addressed to Thomas P O'Neill, Jr., Speaker of the House of Representatives, and George Bush, President of the Senate.

Ronald Reagan, Letter to the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate on Continuing Nuclear Cooperation With EURATOM Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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