U.S. Business Leaders Call for More Cooperative Global Nuclear Energy Policy

The heads of three major industry organizations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have written to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton urging the United States to not make unilateral restrictions on uranium enrichment and reprocessing technology a prerequisite for nuclear cooperation agreements.

Doing so would only serve to limit U.S. influence over global nuclear energy development, driving countries to turn away from U.S. agreements and instead to other countries as nuclear energy suppliers, according to the letter. The letter also notes that U.S. involvement in global energy enables “U.S. leadership in nuclear energy technology and creates tens of thousands of American jobs.”

Read an excerpt of the letter below:

“The global expansion of nuclear energy to meet the growing demand for low-carbon electricity offers the United States an opportunity to promote several complementary national imperatives, but only if we are able to negotiate mutually acceptable nuclear cooperation agreements that open markets to U.S. industry. Exporting U.S. advanced reactor designs as well as America’s operational expertise ensures the highest possible levels of nuclear power plant safety and reliability around the world, and increases U.S. influence over nuclear nonproliferation policy and practices. It also maintains U.S. leadership in nuclear energy technology and creates tens of thousands of American jobs.

“In this context, we are concerned that, if the United States insists that countries forswear uranium [enrichment and reprocessing] as a condition for a U.S. nuclear cooperation agreement, most countries would refrain from concluding such agreements with the United States. Foreign governments and industries would turn instead to other nuclear energy suppliers.”

>>Read the full letter from Jay Timmons, President and CFO of the National Association of Manufacturers; Marvin S. Fertel, President and CEO of the Nuclear Energy Institute; and Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.