U.S.-Russia Nuclear Agreement: Interagency Process Used to Develop the Classified Nuclear Proliferation Assessment Needs to Be Strengthened

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Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "On May 13, 2008, the President submitted to Congress a proposed Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Russian Federation for Cooperation in the Field of Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy (henceforth referred to as the U.S.-Russia 123 agreement) in accordance with the review requirements established under Section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (AEA), as amended. The United States has agreements for peaceful nuclear cooperation governing nuclear exports to nearly 50 countries, Taiwan, and the International Atomic ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. June 30, 2009.

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Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "On May 13, 2008, the President submitted to Congress a proposed Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Russian Federation for Cooperation in the Field of Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy (henceforth referred to as the U.S.-Russia 123 agreement) in accordance with the review requirements established under Section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (AEA), as amended. The United States has agreements for peaceful nuclear cooperation governing nuclear exports to nearly 50 countries, Taiwan, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Such agreements provide the framework and authorization for civilian nuclear cooperation, but do not guarantee that cooperation will take place or that nuclear material or technology transfers will occur. The proposed agreement with Russia would, among other things, establish the legal basis for the Department of Energy (DOE) to work with Russia on large-scale development of nuclear energy. However, owing to Russia's status as a nuclear weapons state, the size of its nuclear complex, and past proliferation concerns, including weaknesses in the Russian export control system, an agreement for peaceful nuclear cooperation between the United States and Russia raised a number of concerns among Members of Congress. Section 123 of the AEA (Section 123) identifies the key U.S. government agencies and sets forth the procedures for negotiating, proposing, and entering into peaceful nuclear cooperation agreements with foreign nations. Consistent with Section 123, the Department of State (State) is responsible for negotiating any proposed agreement, with the technical assistance and concurrence of DOE. After consultation with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), State and DOE jointly submit the proposed agreement to the President, accompanied by the views and recommendations of State, DOE, and NRC. Section 123 also provides that State supply the President with an unclassified Nuclear Proliferation Assessment Statement (NPAS) for each proposed agreement, accompanied by a classified annex, prepared in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence that summarizes relevant classified information. The NPAS serves as an analysis of the proposed agreement to ensure compliance with provisions of the AEA as well as the adequacy of safeguards and other control mechanisms to ensure assistance furnished under the agreement is not used to further any military or nuclear explosive purpose."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • June 30, 2009

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. U.S.-Russia Nuclear Agreement: Interagency Process Used to Develop the Classified Nuclear Proliferation Assessment Needs to Be Strengthened, text, June 30, 2009; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc298485/: accessed August 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.