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December 5, 2009, of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I)281 and on December 31, 2012 of the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT).282


In a joint statement issued on July 3, 2007, Presidents George W. Bush and Vladimir V. Putin announced the initialing of a U.S.-Russia agreement designed to meet the legal requirements for transnational cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy which are set forth at Section 123 of the U.S. Atomic Energy Act of 1954 as amended.283 “We share the view,” said the joint statement, “that this Agreement will provide an essential basis for the expansion of Russian-U.S. cooperation in the field of peaceful use of nuclear energy and expect this document to be signed and brought into force in accordance with existing legal requirements.”284 The U.S.-Russian 123 Agreement was signed on May 6, 2008285 and transmitted to Congress on May 12, 2008286 for the requisite statutory review period. The following sections will describe the requirements of section 123, summarize the agreement’s current status, and provide an overview of the types of cooperative projects that would be made possible by entry into force of such an agreement.

123 Agreement Requirements Under U.S. Law

Section 123 of the U.S. Atomic Energy Act of 1954 as amended, 42 U.S.C. ­§ 2153, requires that significant nuclear exports from the United States take place only pursuant to an agreement for peaceful nuclear cooperation with the recipient. Significant nuclear exports include power reactors, research reactors, nuclear source material (including reactor fuel), and four major components of reactors (pressure vessels, fuel charging and discharging machines, complete control rod drive units, and primary coolant pumps).287 As is typical with agreements


To read the text of the START I Treaty, see; accessed April 6, 2008. START I entered into force on December 5, 1994. Article XVII of the START I Treaty provides that the Treaty shall remain in force for 15 years. START II was signed in January 1993 but never entered into force.


The text of the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions can be found at; accessed April 6, 2008.


The text of the pending 123 Agreement between the United States and the Russian Federation can be found in Appendix E.


The text of this Joint Statement, which was titled Declaration of Nuclear Energy and Nonproliferation: Joint Actions, can be found at; accessed April 8, 2008.


The text of the White House announcement of the signing can be found at; accessed May 30, 2008.


The text of the President’s transmittal letter can be found at; accessed May 30, 2008.


Some types of peaceful nuclear cooperation, including a broad range of technical assistance in such areas as nuclear safety, are possible outside the framework of an agreement for cooperation. Examples include imports of nuclear material and equipment into the United States; exports from the United States of nuclear components (other than the four major reactor components noted above) under licenses issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; nuclear technology (as information) approved for export by the U.S. Department of Energy pursuant to 10 CFR Part 810; and exports of nuclear-related dual-use items such as simulators, detectors, analytic equipment, and many types of pipes, valves and other parts licensed by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Consistent with this, a limited amount of peaceful nuclear cooperation between the United States and Russia has for many years taken place under

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