Policy Issues

Exporting Nuclear Technology

Although scientists and engineers can share information about engineering, development, and production, the United States currently does not allow companies to export nuclear-related goods. The products and materials used in producing nuclear energy are subject to specific, stringent manufacturing and supply regulations. A very small number of companies are able to produce and provide these goods in the United States.

Possible benefits of exporting nuclear technologies
There could be nonproliferation advantages derived from exporting nuclear energy technologies including consent rights on U.S.-manufactured nuclear fuel, the ability to control the transfer of nuclear technology, and greater influence in the nuclear policies of U.S. partner nations. Exporting could also allow the U.S. to influence global standards of nuclear safety and security. There is also the simple benefit of increased market opportunity for the companies that produce these nuclear products.

Concerns about exporting nuclear technologies
There is general concern that exporting nuclear technologies could foster the deployment of enrichment programs and increase national security risks.
Mitigating security risks.

Reasonable assurance of access to fuel through a competitive global market for fuel and other services needed to operate their nuclear plants could dissuade nations from domestic development and deployment of enrichment and reprocessing technology (ENR).

The United States is one of several nations that are capable of supporting the development of nuclear technology in emerging markets. A U.S. nuclear export policy that promotes U.S. nuclear trade may help the U.S. influence the safety and security norms of the global nuclear landscape.


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