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United States-India Nuclear Cooperation Approval and Nonproliferation Enhancement Act

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


UNITED STATES-INDIA NUCLEAR COOPERATION APPROVAL AND NONPROLIFERATION ENHANCEMENT ACT -- (House of Representatives - September 26, 2008)

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Mrs. BIGGERT. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 7081, the United States-India Nuclear Cooperation Approval and Nonproliferation Enhancement Act. This landmark legislation will ensure India's continued access to safe, clean carbon-free nuclear power while guaranteeing, through international inspections, that India's nuclear ambitions remain peaceful.

Mr. Speaker, I have been a strong proponent of nuclear power because it is an efficient and inexpensive way to meet our growing energy needs. In fact, my state of Illinois derives 50% of its power from nuclear energy. In my district, Argonne National Laboratories has been at the cutting edge of the next generation of nuclear power.

Most recently, they have helped to develop an advanced nuclear reprocessing technology called UREX, which literally re-burns spent fuel to extract more energy. At the same time, it improves efficiency and vastly reduces the toxicity, volume, and danger of the final waste product.

As the global appetite for energy continues to a row, nuclear technology will become increasingly important if we are to meet this unprecedented demand. This agreement will allow India, which has one of the fastest growing economies in the world, access to advanced nuclear technology. Cheap and abundant nuclear power will ensure that their economy can continue to flourish, without the pollution that plagues many other rapidly modernizing nations.

This agreement also has built in safeguards to ensure that sensitive nuclear technology is not compromised. India has agreed to prevent any third-parties from accessing their nuclear technology and to allow international inspectors into 14 nuclear sites around the country to enforce this agreement. These provisions will ensure that sensitive nuclear info does not end up in the hands of terrorists or rogue nations that would seek to do us harm.

The United States and India have a long history of cooperation stretching back over half a century, and I am pleased that we can continue this productive partnership. I urge all of my colleagues to support this historic legislation.

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