Nuclear Nonproliferation:

Information on Nuclear Exports Controlled by U.S.-EURATOM Agreement

RCED-95-168: Published: Jun 16, 1995. Publicly Released: Jul 6, 1995.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the United States-European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM) agreement, focusing on the: (1) amount of U.S. nuclear exports to EURATOM and Japan and U.S.-origin nuclear materials transferred from Japan to EURATOM; (2) value of U.S. nuclear exports to EURATOM and Japan; and (3) nuclear industry's views on the potential impact on nuclear commerce if the U.S.-EURATOM agreement is not renewed.

GAO found that: (1) from 1980 through 1994, the United States exported about 32.6 million kilograms (kgs) of nuclear materials to EURATOM and 11 million kgs to Japan, and Japan transferred about 4.7 million kgs of U.S.-origin nuclear materials to EURATOM for reprocessing; (2) various forms of uranium constituted the majority of the nuclear material exports and enriched uranium constituted the majority of the U.S.-origin material transferred to EURATOM; (3) Japan also transferred about 37,187 kgs of U.S.-origin plutonium to EURATOM from 1980 through 1994; (4) no nuclear power reactors were exported to EURATOM or Japan during this period, but reactor equipment and components were exported to EURATOM and Japan under general license agreements; (5) U.S. nuclear materials exported from 1989 through August 1994 were worth about $1.1 billion for EURATOM countries and $4 billion for Japan; (6) for fiscal years 1989 through 1993, U.S. enrichment services worth $168 million and $1.6 billion were charged to EURATOM and Japan, respectively; (7) the U.S. nuclear industry believes that if the U.S.-EURATOM agreement expires, EURATOM and Japan would seek other non-U.S. suppliers of nuclear materials and services and the industry would be substantially weakened; and (8) the expiration of the agreement could seriously affect the future of the U.S. Enrichment Corporation's uranium enrichment services, since it would jeopardize $630 million in current contracts and $1.8 billion in potential new contracts.

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