Strengthening its oversight of the Obama administration's nuclear export policies, House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders today wrote to Energy Secretary Steven Chu seeking information to evaluate changes to federal regulations regarding the export of civilian nuclear technologies and services. The committee is requesting information regarding recent applications under the Part 810 export licenses, the processes used to finalize reviews, and what changes are being considered to increase American international commercial opportunities.
"We seek to examine how current policies and Administration efforts affect opportunities for enhancing or expanding U.S. manufacturing and competitiveness, both for strengthening domestic job growth and for the benefit of U.S. influence over international nuclear safety and nuclear security," wrote full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Vice Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Chairman Emeritus Joe Barton (R-TX), Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA), Subcommittee Vice Chairman Michael Burgess (R-TX), Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY), and Environment and the Economy Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL).
The leaders continued, "We understand that, for the first time in 25 years, the Department of Energy (DOE) is revising the Federal regulations that apply to civilian nuclear exports, 10 C.F.R. 810 (Part 810). These revisions may substantially change the scope and requirements for approval of exports of nuclear technology and services, with direct implications for U.S. nuclear-related commerce. To assist us in evaluating the impact of new U.S. nuclear export control regulations and DOE's implementation of these regulations, we request information relating to the regulatory process, reviews, and decision-making concerning nuclear export licenses, as implemented through the National Nuclear Security Agency (NNSA)."
The committee requested that the Department of Energy provide answers, requested documents, and a staff briefing by April 12, 2013.