for peaceful nuclear cooperation, the proposed U.S.-Russian agreement does not commit the United States to any specific exports or other cooperative activities, but rather establishes a framework of conditions and controls to govern subsequent transactions, if any. The proposed U.S.-Russia agreement also continues the practice, which is not required by U.S. law, of applying nonproliferation conditions, assurances and controls in a reciprocal manner (i.e. obligation that section 123 requirements be applied with respect to U.S. nuclear exports in Russia are also applied with respect to Russian nuclear exports in the U.S.).
The proposed U.S.-Russian 123 Agreement includes the following key conditions and controls:288
a guarantee that safeguards as set forth in the agreement will be maintained in perpetuity on items transferred pursuant to the agreement and on nuclear material produced through their use
a peaceful use guarantee (i.e., that items subject to the agreement will never be used for any nuclear explosive device, for research on or development of such a device, or for any other military purpose)
a guarantee that adequate physical protection will be maintained in perpetuity with respect to items subject to the agreement
a transferring state right in perpetuity of prior consent to re-transfers by the recipient state of items transferred pursuant to the agreement and of any special nuclear material produced through their use
a transferring state right in perpetuity of prior consent to alteration in form or content of nuclear material transferred pursuant to the agreement or used in or produced through the use of material or equipment so transferred (the proposed U.S.-Russia agreement provides prior consent to certain types of alteration, including enrichment to less than twenty percent in the isotope U235)
a transferring state right to approve in advance storage facilities for plutonium, uranium 233, and highly enriched uranium subject to the agreement
The proposed U.S.-Russian agreement will permit transfers of sensitive nuclear facilities, sensitive nuclear technology, and major critical components only if it is subsequently amended.
Section 123 provides that an agreement for peaceful nuclear cooperation must be approved by the Secretary of Energy and the Secretary of State, following consultation with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and must thereafter be approved by the President, who must make certain statutory determinations and authorize execution of the agreement.
The President must submit an agreement for cooperation to Congress for a statutory review period of 90 days continuous session, as specially defined for this purpose at section 130(g)(2) of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2159 (g)(2). Depending on the Congressional schedule, the review period can take four to six calendar months, and
agreements including the U.S.-Soviet Agreement on Scientific and Technical Cooperation in the Field of Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy, which was signed by Presidents George H.W. Bush and Mikhail S. Gorbachev in Washington, D.C. on June 1, 1990.
It is worth noting that 123 agreements typically have applied non-proliferation conditions, assurances and controls in a reciprocal manner. If this practice, which is not required by U.S. law, is continued in the U.S.-Russia 123 Agreement, the United States would assume all the obligations contained in the agreement with respect to any nuclear materials or equipment that it might import from Russia pursuant to the agreement.