Section 123 of the U.S. Atomic Energy Act generally requires the conclusion of a peaceful nuclear cooperation agreement for significant transfers of nuclear material, equipment, or components from the United States to another nation. Moreover, such agreements, commonly referred to as “123 Agreements,” facilitate cooperation in other areas, such as technical exchanges, scientific research, and safeguards discussions. In conjunction with other nonproliferation tools, particularly the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), 123 Agreements help to advance U.S. nonproliferation principles. They establish the legal framework for significant nuclear cooperation with other countries. In order for a country to enter into a 123 Agreement with the United States, that country must adhere to nuclear nonproliferation norms as stipulated in the 123 Agreement. The U.S. State Department is responsible for negotiating 123 Agreements, with the technical assistance and concurrence of DOE/NNSA and in consultation with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
As of March 28, 2019, the United States has 23 such agreements in force that govern peaceful nuclear cooperation with 48 countries, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the governing authorities on Taiwan (through the American Institute in Taiwan), as detailed below.
United States Agreements for Cooperation Partners (entry into force and expiration dates):
- Argentina (16 October 1997/16 October 2027)
- Australia (22 December 2010/22 December 2040 with rolling 5-year extensions)
- Brazil (15 September 1999/15 September 2029)
- Canada (21 July 1955/1 January 2030 with rolling 5-year extensions)
- China (29 October 2015/29 October 2045)
- Egypt (29 December 1981/29 December 2021)
- European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom)1 (12 April 1996/12 April 2026 with rolling 5-year extensions)
- International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) (7 August 1959/7 August 2054)
- India (6 December 2008/6 December 2048 with rolling 10-year extensions)
- Indonesia (30 December 1981/30 December 2031)
- Japan (17 July 1988/17 July 2018 but remains in force until terminated by a Party)
- Kazakhstan (5 November 1999/5 November 2029)
- Republic of Korea (25 November 2015/25 November 2040)
- Morocco (16 May 1981/16 May 2021 with rolling 5-year extensions)
- Norway (19 January 2017/19 January 2047)
- Russian Federation (11 January 2011/11 January 2041)
- South Africa (4 December 1997/4 December 2022)
- Switzerland (23 June 1998/23 June 2028 with rolling 5-year extensions)
- Taiwan2 (22 June 2014/indefinite)
- Turkey (2 June 2008/2 June 2023 with rolling 5-year extensions)
- Ukraine (28 May 1999/28 May 2029)
- United Arab Emirates (17 December 2009/17 December 2039)
1 Euratom comprises the following Member States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
2 Pursuant to Sections 4 and 6 of the Taiwan Relations Act, P.L. 96-8, 93 Stat. 14, and Executive Order 13014, 61 F.R. 42963, agreements relative to Taiwan shall be entered into, performed, and enforced, in the manner and to the extent directed by the President, by or through the American Institute in Taiwan.