Department of Energy

Statement from DOE Press Secretary on Saudi Arabia

March 28, 2019

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“Secretary Perry has issued thirty-seven Part 810 authorizations to U.S. companies allowing them to export unclassified civil nuclear technology to 16 countries. This includes seven authorizations for exports to Saudi Arabia. A Part 810 authorization does not authorize the transfer of nuclear material, equipment or components. The specifics of these authorizations have not been made public because the companies determined that the authorizations contain proprietary business information. No enrichment or reprocessing technology has been authorized to Saudi Arabia.

Part 810 authorizations and 123 agreements are two distinct and different processes based on two separate sections of the Atomic Energy Act. The Part 810 process controls the export of unclassified nuclear technology and assistance. It enables nuclear trade by assuring that nuclear technologies exported by U.S. companies are used only for peaceful purposes. The authorization process involves a thorough interagency review that requires the Department of Energy to secure the concurrence of the Department of State, and consult with the Departments of Defense and Commerce, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Separately, a 123 agreement is the legal mechanism that allows the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to license the export of nuclear material, equipment and components from the U.S. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is the licensing authority for exports under 123 Agreements. The U.S. has been in ongoing discussions with Saudi Arabia regarding a potential 123 agreement since 2012, and these discussions continue today. All 123 agreements undergo rigorous Congressional review, including 90 days of continuous session review by the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.”

– Shaylyn Hynes, DOE Press Secretary

 

Additional Background on Part 810 authorizations: The Department of Energy (DOE) has statutory responsibility for authorizing the transfer of unclassified nuclear technology and assistance to foreign atomic energy activities within the United States or abroad. In accordance with § 57 b (2) of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (AEA), persons may engage, directly or indirectly, in the production or development of special nuclear material outside the United States only upon authorization by the Secretary of Energy, with the concurrence of the Department of State (DOS) and after consulting with the Departments of Defense (DoD) and Commerce (DOC), and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). This requirement, as implemented by DOE, applies to technology transfers and assistance related to certain nuclear fuel-cycle activities, commercial nuclear power plants, and research and test reactors. Covered transfers may include the transfer of physical documents or electronic media, electronic transfers or the transfer of knowledge and expertise.

Additional Background on 123 Agreements: To date, the U.S. has twenty-three 123 Agreements in force with 48 countries, including China, Russia and India. Additionally, the U.S. has 123 agreements with the International Atomic Energy Agency and the governing authorities on Taiwan.