Us South Korea 123 Agreement

The compromise of the new agreement was to give prior agreement to the storage, transfer and return of American-made equipment, probably to encourage Korea to send its spent nuclear fuel abroad for reprocessing. But the agreement specifically created “pathways” for a future decision on prior consent for both enrichment and reprocessing. One route is the Joint Fuel Cycle Study that has been underway since 2011. It will communicate to a new high-level bilateral commission its conclusions on the technical, economic and non-technical feasibility of fuel cycle options. The high-level bilateral commission, chaired by the Deputy Foreign Minister of South Korea and the Deputy Minister of Energy in the United States, is a second way that, for the foreseeable future, will allow for a great deal of attention to these issues. The Republic of Korea (ROK) is expected to insist on a new decision on prior agreement in the next 5 to 10 years. In 2006, Congress passed the Henry J. Hyde United States-India Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation Act, which amends the AEA to allow for nuclear cooperation with India, a country that is not a member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and has no comprehensive security. The Hyde Amendment has been criticized for undermining U.S. international anti-proliferation efforts. The 40-year agreement with India came into force in December 2008.

For more information on individual agreements, visit the Congressional Research Service`s Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer. Section 123 of the U.S. Atomic Energy Act (AEA) of 1954 sets out the conditions and defines the process of significant nuclear cooperation between the United States and other countries. For a country to reach such an agreement with the United States, that country must commit to a series of nine non-proliferation criteria. Since January 15, 2019, the United States has concluded 26 nuclear cooperation agreements that govern nuclear cooperation with 49 countries, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Taiwan. Section 123 of the U.S. Atomic Energy Act generally requires a peaceful nuclear cooperation agreement for the significant transfer of nuclear materials, equipment or components from the United States to another nation.

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