After years of talks, South Korea and the United States signed an agreement for peaceful nuclear cooperation.
Rose E. Gottemoeller and Eric L. Hirschhorn say that the Obama administration’s planned export control reforms will help the U.S. government do a better job of safeguarding vital technologies and will not diminish its ability to prevent human rights abuses.
A House committee has approved a bill that would create new nonproliferation requirements for U.S. nuclear trade partners. A key goal of the bill is to discourage new uranium-enrichment and spent fuel reprocessing programs.
The Bush administration succeeded Sept. 6 in its three-year campaign to secure a waiver for India from long-standing international nuclear trade restrictions. Three days of U.S. prodding and an Indian reiteration of its current nuclear testing moratorium pledge helped the United States overcome the last resistance of some nuclear suppliers to the sweeping policy reversal. With international trade restrictions on India removed, the U.S. Congress heeded Bush administration exhortations to bypass existing U.S. law to approve a bilateral U.S.-Indian nuclear cooperation agreement on an expedited basis. (Continue)
Two and a half years after President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced their proposed U.S.-Indian civil nuclear cooperation deal, the ill-conceived arrangement faces a highly uncertain future. In the next few weeks, decisions will likely be made at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) that will determine whether the deal occurs at all and, if so, at what cost to the global nuclear nonproliferation system.
As soon as this month, the IAEA Board of Governors may be convened to consider a new India-specific safeguards agreement. If approved, the 44 other members of the NSG might then act on a U.S. proposal to exempt India from long-standing guidelines that require comprehensive IAEA safeguards as a condition of nuclear supply. If these bodies agree, the United States and other suppliers could finalize bilateral nuclear trade deals with India. (Continue)
On Sept. 25, the House of Representatives adopted a controversial bill that would expand the reach of U.S. sanctions against entities that do business in Iran. Although the bill has received overwhelming bipartisan support in the House, the administration has criticized the legislation for limiting its ability to garner support from other states for multilateral sanctions against Iran. (Continue)
President George W. Bush signed legislation into law Aug. 8 relaxing limits on the export of highly enriched uranium (HEU) to Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, and the Netherlands. Although some U.S. officials support the change as critical to nuclear medicine, a bipartisan group of senators has charged that the modification will make it easier for terrorists to obtain fissile material for nuclear weapons. HEU is one of two materials that can provide the fissile material in nuclear weapons; plutonium is the other. (Continue)
The U.S. government process for checking whether American commercial exports are being misused for weapons purposes needs improvement, the General Accounting Office (GAO) concluded in a January report. (Continue)