WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Nuclear Energy Institute’s Richard Myers, vice president for policy development, planning and supplier programs, provided the following remarks in reaction to the U.S. House of Representatives’ approval Tuesday of H.R. 2449. The legislation authorizes a two-year extension of the current U.S.-Republic of Korea (South Korea) Section 123 agreement on civil nuclear energy cooperation, to mid-March 2016.
“The nuclear energy industry applauds the House’s approval of a two-year extension of the current nuclear cooperation agreement with the Republic of Korea. The Republic of Korea is a major commercial nuclear energy trading partner with the United States. The two-year extension will provide ample opportunity for our countries to finalize a long-term agreement. This will reinforce the U.S.-ROK commercial partnership, bolster our long-standing bilateral relationship, and reaffirm our shared commitment to nonproliferation.
“NEI urges the Senate to take prompt action to extend the Section 123 nuclear cooperation agreement with the Republic of Korea. The current agreement, a requirement for nuclear trade, will expire March 19. Given the industry’s reliance on long-lead items and long-term contracts for nuclear components, fuel and services, prompt extension of the agreement is vital to avoid trade disruptions that would negatively affect thousands of U.S. jobs and billions of dollars in exports.
“The current Section 123 agreement has served the United States well since 1974. An extension will provide a window of opportunity to conclude a successor agreement that meets the needs of both nations without disrupting what has proven to be a safe and successful civil nuclear trade relationship.”