Reps. Upton, Johnson ask Energy Secretary Perry to streamline nuclear export rules

Published on December 11, 2017 by Kevin Randolph

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Reps. Fred Upton (R-MI) and Bill Johnson (R-OH) recently sent a letter to Energy Secretary Rick Perry, asking him to take steps to make the process for authorizing commercial nuclear energy exports more efficient and predictable.

“While DOE is in the process of implementing some targeted reforms, more work remains to accelerate agency decision-making so that our domestic nuclear technology leaders have timely answers necessary to compete effectively with other nations’ nuclear programs,” Upton and Johnson wrote.

The letter asked Perry what steps the Department of Energy (DOE) is taking to improve the Part 810 process and when it anticipates those reforms to be fully implemented. DOE’s Part 810 export authorizations identify potential national security implications before allowing a domestic supplier to share technical details or technology with a foreign customer.

“In light of challenges confronting our domestic nuclear industry, it is crucial that your review process efficiently serves your national security responsibilities without unnecessarily undermining opportunities to expand our international nuclear commerce—the benefits of which include substantial economic opportunity for American nuclear workers…” the letter said.

The representatives referenced a paper recently published by the Nuclear Innovation Alliance (NIA), which said that the time taken to approve 810 applications has increased from an average of 130 days in the 1990s to 400 days today.

South Korea, Russia, Japan, and France have requirements to process export control applications in 15 days, 25 to 45 days, 90 days and nine months, respectively.