Obama urges Congress to renew nuclear cooperation deal with China

22 April 2015 (Last Updated April 22nd, 2015 18:30)

US President Barack Obama's administration has signed a 30-year renewal agreement of bilateral commercial nuclear cooperation with China and urged Congress to give its approval.

US President Obama

US President Barack Obama’s administration has signed a 30-year renewal agreement of bilateral commercial nuclear cooperation with China and urged Congress to give its approval.

Congress is expected to take a decision in the next three months on the US-China Section 123 agreement, which puts forward the proposal for continued peaceful nuclear cooperation on the basis of mutual commitment to non-proliferation.

The agreement was signed in 1985 and is set to expire at the end of the year

The Whitehouse stated: "The proposed agreement would obligate the United States and China to work together to enhance their efforts to familiarise commercial entities in their respective countries about the requirements of the Agreement, as well as national export controls and policies applicable to exports and imports subject to the Agreement."

"The proposed agreement would obligate the United States and China to work together to enhance their efforts to familiarise commercial entities in their respective countries about the requirements of the Agreement."

Nuclear Energy Institute president and CEO Marvin Fertel said: "The US nuclear energy industry urges Congress to support renewal of the US-China Section 123 agreement.

"This cooperation easily can bring with it billions of dollars of US exports in goods and services, involve many US supply and sub-supplier companies across the country, and create tens of thousands of American jobs."

The approval from Congress would enable the two nations to transfer material, equipment (including reactors), components, information, and technology for nuclear research and nuclear power production.

The agreement, however, needs to be modified to make room for exchanging information regarding sensitive nuclear technology and facilities, and major critical components of such facilities.

The Asian country intends to develop up to 58GW of nuclear energy generation by 2020, 150GW by 2030 and considerably more by 2050, which is expected to benefit nuclear markets in the US.


Image: US President Barack Obama seeks Congress approval for the proposed US-China nuclear cooperation agreement. Photo: courtesy of Official White House photo by Pete Souza/ Jatkins.