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The Export reorganization act, 1975 : hearings before the Committee on Government Operations, United States Senate, Ninety-fourth Congress, first session, April 24, 30, and May 1, 1975 online

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want to comment on whether NRC, and ERDA, and the Depart-
ment of Commerce, and all of the rest of the people involved in this
whole field, are also involved in what can be so very vital as to dis-
cussions, whether they are all being consulted, so we have this wide
participation in this area, as we possibly can have, or is this just
being run as a State Department exercise at the NPT Review
Conference ?

Dr. Tape. My view is that there has been input from all of these

Senator Glenn. Is it an impression, or is that the case ?

Dr. Tape. I have talked to the man involved. The point I would
like to make is that there is strong expertise in ERDA, NRC, State,
in these areas. The strongest expertise has been in ERDA, and given
the recent reorganization some people in one organization are now
in another, but the expertise is there.

Senator Glenn. Way back at the beginning, of what we might call
the nuclear age, the Baruch and the Lillianthal plans made for plac-
ing sensitive aspects of the fuel cycle, including the reprocessing of
plutonium under international management.

Now, I would probably personally think we have gotten maybe
beyond that point now, where such controls could be exercised, but


you are of course working in this international area, and one of your
first statements here about the advantages of nuclear plants, and
the nations no longer are just considering them in the show-off cate-
gory, or you might call the show and tell category they were a few
years ago, getting beyond that, I think now there is a proliferation
of enough plants around the world, would you not think it is now
beyond the point where we can really put things under international
management ?

Dr. Tape. I do doubt that one could put them under international
management in the context of the original suggestion, the Baruch
plan, et cetera.

That, you will recall, was proposed at the time when we really did
have a monopoly on the nuclear weapon, and it was based on the
fact we were willing to give up. But the Soviets, principally, were
working on weapons development and wanted to hold their options

Senator Glenn. The monopoly was more tightly held than it is

Dr. Tape. It is a different monopoly.

Senator Glenn. Yes.

What do you see as the relationship between the bilateral versus
the IAEA relationship ? How will this be affected ?

Well, let me back up.

I think one of the things we will see in the next few years is that
we will find otherwise, that is, other ways of developing nuclear ma-
terials, as are already beginning to come to the fore as possibilities,
whether it be laser, and some of these other techniques, or possibly
even chemical processes that may work in this area of reprocessing
or enrichment.

I think as we go along, and science makes more advances, the
enrichment of uranium and reprocessing of plutonium will probably
become far less of a formidable technological hurdle than it is right

Would you see this, in other words, the ease with which plutonium
could be used and reprocessed — how do you see this working in
terms of making our need for bilateral agreements, which you dis-
cussed — more important, less important, or going to more interna-
tional controls, or organizations. Do you see any difference really?

The reason I bring this up, what we are trying to do, is a line of
process here, whereby we can improve, with a good interagency set-
up, and whatever safeguards we put in, our system in this country.

Now, with the existing fact, that I think this is the probability,
that this is the way enrichment and reprocessing will develop, does
that change the position we have with our interagency setup, as
relates with our setup, bilateral agreements, and international agree-
ments — if you follow that?

Dr. Tape. Let me start first with the domestic side, and talk about
chemical reprocessing, meaning the separation of plutonium, and
then the utilization of that plutonium in fuel elements, which means
feedback into the fuel fabrication side.

It is difficult for me to see, in anything like the near future, any
different type of reprocessing, than we are now contemplating. I
think it was one of the witnesses this morning, Mr. Anders, who


said with respect to reprocessing plants that we have one which is
shut down for modification, another which did not get started up,
and a third under construction, or to put it another way around, we
do not have any such plant in operation on the licensed side of the
house. There are processing plants elsewhere in the world.

It is a very complex, difficult technical problem and very costly.
In the world of extreme inflation that has taken place, many people
are taking a look at whether or not one needs to reprocess immedi-
ately, or whether there is an advantage to storing the fuel elements
and waiting. So for the present, I do not see a change in what we see
today in reprocessing.

We may reprocess at a rate in which we need the plutonium to
feed into plutonium recycle or breeders.

Now, as a separate issue, I look upon plutonium as an energy
resource, and to me, plutonium is an energy resource which should
be used. Therefore, I personally would like to see the mechanisms
developed, safety and safeguards procedures, such that it can be done,
and done in an orderly fashion. Therefore, I would ultimately like
to see the plutonium fed back in and burned, in the nuclear sense,
as another available energy resource. For those who worry about
the vast stores of plutonium that may be around in the future, the
safest plutonium is the plutonium that has been fissioned in a
reactor. That is sort of the scenario I would like to see for the future.

Now some remarks with respect to some of the new enrichment
schemes for enriching uranium. We have relied on safeguards as a
method of controlling special nuclear materials. Enriched uranium
comes from enrichment plants, which are of a size, complexity, cost,
et cetera, that there are not many of them in the world. One could
easily identify them by one means or another.

It would be more difficult to identify a clandestine type of opera-
tion, for example, a centrifuge operation for small amounts of ma-
terial. As far as a centrifuge plant for commercial use, that is, en-
richment of fuels for commercial nuclear power, that has to be a
fairly sizeable plant and would be easier to detect. But for someone
who wants a little bit to make in a clandestine weapons program,
that is a much tougher operation to detect.

With some of the newer processes, the one you heard about, the
modified South African process, that will probably be a very large
plant, so again we should know where the plant is. It is my view
that countries like South Africa having such a plant will ultimately
do this for export purposes principally, because they have the raw
material, the uranium ore is there in the first place, and I doubt
very much they will export without safeguards, because they too
share the concern the rest of us have.

As to laser enrichment, I just think that is too early to even talk
about it. It is a laboratory process at the moment. It has potential,
and we will be thinking about how it interacts with nuclear power
and safeguards.

Senator Glenn. All I was pointing up, every other major techno-
logical development we have ever had, starts out as a breakthrough,
with only a few people are familiar with, and pretty soon everybody
has it. and it is commonplace, and I would presume that while nu-
clear energy may be one of the most complex things we have ever


developed, it still is becoming far more complex. I am sure there will
be simplified developments for handling or use, as you pointed out,
as plutonium is left over, and I just think of the types of setups we
can make, that we are primarily concerned with our efforts to re-
organize, and better handle. We ought to be considering the com-
monality of plutonium, and nuclear processes, and their tendency to
become more common, as time goes on, and whether we can through
our organizational efforts that this bill addresses, that we are talk-
ing about today, where we can design an organizational setup to
take care of the bilateral, or IAEA type of thing, or other structures
as everything surrounding nuclear energy becomes more common,
and more highly known.

I guess that is more of a statement than a question. Let me ask a
couple of things. We are very late.

Dr. Ikle has spoken on the prospect of nuclear anarchy, unless
France and China join the other nuclear nations in ratifying the
Nonproliferation Treaty.

Can you comment on their reasons for not ratifying, or do you
feel that their own arrangements bilaterally are in a way protecting
us as much as they would as if they were members ?

Dr. Tape. I mentioned F ranee earlier, and I would like to repeat
what has been said by the French at the highest levels, that namely,
although not a party to the NPT, France would behave as if France
had signed the NPT. Taking that at face value, which one must do,
and I do, their actions will go a long way toward alleviating some
of the troubles we are worried about with respect to nonnuclear
weapons states.

Obviously, from a political or public relations or psychological
point of view, and believe me, world peace is built to a considerable
extent on public attitude and psychology, it would be better if France
could indeed find its way clear to becoming a party.

With respect to the People's Republic of China, I believe the
PRC does wish to show its nuclear preeminence. Thus far, it has
only been in the military field, that is, they have not entered seriously
into the nuclear civilian electric power program. I have no indica-
tion that they are interested in building for export purposes, as a
supplier nation.

Senator Glenn. That is France now ?

Dr. Tape. China, the People's Republic of China. It has really
exhibited its nuclear prowess in the detonation of military type
devices. It has not entered into a large development program that
we are aware of in nuclear reactors, for civil purposes, nor have we
seen any interest in exports. So I am simply saying that for the PRC,
I think that is way downstream. They probably just look upon NPT
participation first, as a position not politically acceptable to them,
and, second, an issue that probably just does not make that much

Senator Glenn. France is sort of ignoring the rest of the world
as far as world opinion goes, as far as selling plants around the
world, and sort of ignoring all of the protection mechanisms. I mean
that organizationally speaking, that the rest of the world has sort of
accepted, and yet no one seems to be overly critical of France these


Why is there reason to think if we are much tougher with our
safeguard system, and just demanded that as part of our doing busi-
ness around the world — why should anj^one think less of us, or not
do any business because of that? Are we being too easy, in other
words ?

Dr. Tape. I believe that France has taken the point of view that in
its judgment, the type of arrangements, safeguards, et cetera, that
they can achieve, are satisfactory and adequate.

We might not agree in every detail with their point of view. I
am reluctant to use the word realistic, which came up here earlier
this morning, but I think they would argue that in some cases they
are being realistic, that is, by taking a position which is not as hard
as the United States might take, they can get an agreement for the
near term, where there might not be an agreement at all.

For example, we have had some debate with respect to certain
safeguards agreements with certain countries, as to the length, that
is, the time duration of that agreement on a particular facility. We
tend to hold out, for an agreement that would run for the life of the
reactor. Others, where the going is tough, would be more apt to try
to get an agreement that might be for say 10 years, rather than drive
that country to a position of building its own reactor, and starting
its own indigenous capability. Mr. Chairman, these are matters of
judgment, of weighing long-term and short-term objectives, et cetera,
and I do not think there is a magic answer to it.

Senator Glenn. Let me get back to one that may be a bit more
specific, than these judgment areas, that we are trying to organize
and provide for.

Do you think the United States is in violation of the Nonprolifer-
ation Treaty by licensing nuclear exports to non-NPT nations that
have not placed all of their nuclear materials and facilities under
IAEA safeguards?

Dr. Tape. No, we are not in violation of the treaty.

Here again is a judgment situation. Is it in our interest to work
with a country that is not an NPT party, in the interest of getting
the facilities which are supplied under safeguards, and even under
conditions beyond just the acceptable international safeguards, such
as physical security, or agreements of where fuel will be processed
or fabricated.

Senator Percy said here earlier that when the Israeli-Egyptian
package came up for consideration, there was a loud hue and cry. No
question, I would have much preferred both of those nations to have
been parties, and we could have dealt with them as NPT parties, and
I think the people in the country felt that way.

On the other hand, when I look at what conditions might be ob-
tained by dealing with them, we should not close our eyes and turn
our backs, because it may very well be in our interest to work out
satisfactory arrangements which are just short of being a party to
the treaty but have other compensating factors.

Senator Glenn. With regards to IAEA, and you are directly in-
volved with it, how will we build up confidence in IAEA, enough
that we really feel, as long as there are negotiations with individual
nations that remain unknown to the rest of us, are you into that
enough that you have a great, a high confidence level that we are
being adequately protected, or do we know all that is going on?


If there are secret arrangements between IAEA, and if all of those
agreements are confidential between IAEA and member nations, the
rest of us, who are not privy to such information, automatically look
not too well at it, and wonder whether the safeguards and the pro-
tective information is really there.

How do we build confidence without having the information?

Dr. Tape. I assure you, the Director General of the agency, and
the witnesses before you have talked about this question.

From the point of view of making all of this information pretty
much open, I think we would destroy the system which has been
built up, and so I argue for confidentiality.

If we were to ask the General Accounting Office, which would be
the normal congressional method, to make an examination, that
too, I think, would tend to destroy it. Then there would not be only
the U.S. General Accounting Office in there, but 105 other general
accounting offices looking at it too. So, I do not think that is the
solution either.

The Director General announced at the February Board meeting
that he intended to create an Advisory Committee to be made up of
experts in the area of safeguards, and they, as consultants to the
agency, would have the power of investigating and advising him on
the adequacy of the procedures, techniques, and the work going on in

I do not say this is a complete answer to your question. But I think
it is like answers to similar questions of how can the chairman, how
can the Director, how can the President assure others, who are not
necessarily privy to the internal workings of that body, that the man
at the top is on top of it. The Advisory Committee will be a step in
trying to help answer that; the Director General himself can say, I
have had these consultants, not internal employees of the agency,
looking at it.

Senator Glenn. What happens when there are violations? That is
an area that we have not gotten into really.

IAEA discovers something, it can give information, then what
happens as in the case of the Indian tape. We have pretty good evi-
dence, I guess, that has been given to the committee staff, that India
did something with respect to recording the amount of plutonium.
But then what happens ? What will IAEA do in a situation like that
besides provide the information to some other country ?

Dr. Tape. On this question of the tape, I had not heard about it.
But let me speculate, because I think I know a little bit about the
Indian attitude as to the application of international safeguards.

The Indians are concerned, at least this has been expressed to me,
about the removal of original records from India, so that they would
no longer be within their control. For example, this case might very
well be in that category. An inspector came in and made a measure-
ment, which they did not have in duplicate, or access to it. The inspec-
tor goes away, and then makes some accusation of diversion. The
Indians at that point refute it but they have no way to countering
it. Now, if that is the situation, then I can understand that sensi-
tivity, and, indeed, if that is the way it developed, what we ought to
do is find ways in which, if records must be removed, India as a
nation, would have a duplicate.

Senator Glenn. I was using that more as an example.


Dr. Tape. If there is a violation, what happens first, is that the
safeguards department of the agency, in its analysis of reports and
records, will not be able to reconcile the inventory. There will be a
missing quantity of materials someplace. The agency goes back to
the country involved, stating that their analysis shows a significant
discrepancy. They ask for additional information which could re-
concile the discrepancy.

Inventories might be rechecked and so there will be some period
of time during which an attempt is made to reconcile these differ-

If the Inspector General cannot reconcile that difference, then
he must go to the Director General, who in turn goes to the Board
of Governors, and says, we have been unable to reconcile this dif-
ference. At this point, if the Board agrees that it is a serious matter,
it will go to the United Nations. What happens then is the matter
becomes known to the Board and to the U.N. This puts the issue
into the political arena of sanctions, of world opinion, and so forth.

You may decide that that is not adequate. But I think that it is
consistent with the nature of our present world society. Each nation
tends to do its own thing, with a self-evaluation of whether to take
the risk or not.

Senator Glenn. Well, I have no further questions. Do you have
any last statement you would like to make? I appreciate very much
your expertise, and I am sorry we delayed you until it is so late.

It is after 2 in the afternoon, and we did not intend to run so
late, but I certainly appreciate your expert testimony.

I would like to feel that the committee could follow up with
questions by mail, or by getting in touch with you, if they so desire
after reading through the transcript of today, which will be very
long, of course, but it has been a very informative day, I think, for
all of us. We have another day, tomorrow. It starts at 10 a.m., and
the committee will stand in recess until 10 tomorrow.

["Whereupon, the committee was recessed at 2 :10 p.m., until 10 a.m.,
May 1, 1975.]



U.S. Senate,
Committee on Government Operations,

Washington, D.C.

The committee met at 10:07 a.m. in room 3302, Dirksen Senate
Office Building, Senator John Glenn, presiding.

Members present : Senators Glenn and Percy.

Staff members present: Dick Wegman, chief counsel and staff
director; Paul Leventhal, counsel; Marilyn A. Harris, chief clerk;
Elizabeth A. Preast, assistant chief clerk.

Senator Glenn. The hearing will come to order.

This is the third and last day of a series of hearings with regard to
the bill which would realine some of the agencies' functions with
regard to the licensing of peaceful nuclear exports.

Our witness list today will have Mr. Eldon Greenberg. He is a
staff attorney for the Center for Law and Social Policy, representing
the Sierra Club, National Resources Defense Council, Friends of the
Earth, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the National Parks and
Conservation Association.

Our number two witness today will be Mr. Carl Walske, president
of the Atomic Industrial Forum, Inc.

The third witness will be Adrian Fisher, dean, Georgetown Uni-
versity Law Center, former U.S. negotiator on the Nuclear Non-
Proliferation Treaty.

And the fourth witness will be Admiral Gene La Rocque, Director
of the Center for Defense Information.

We welcome all of you today and look forward to your testi-
mony. We have heard from some of these people before on related
subjects and look forward to the sort of fine testimony that we have
had before.

Is Mr. Greenberg prepared at the present time? I believe we have
some copies of your statement. I do not know if you have additional
copies available for the other people here or not.


Mr. Greenberg. I have given the clerk additional copies of my

Senator Glenn. Fine. Thank you.



Would you prefer, Mr. Greenberg, to have your statement read
into the record or submit it for the record and comment briefly. How
do you prefer to handle it ?

Mr. Greenberg. I will summarize it.

Senator Glenn. I think if you read the whole thing it would take
up our entire time today. We do appreciate the depth you went into
in your statement. Perhaps you would care to summarize it.

Mr. Greenberg. Mr. Chairman, I had not intended to read the en-
tire statement, recognizing that it is far too long in a hearing such
as the present one. However, I would like to submit it for the record
and summarize in my oral presentation this morning the central
points made in the written statement.

Senator Glenn. Your entire statement will be inserted at the con-
clusion of your testimony.

Mr. Greenbekg. Before proceeding, I would like to introduce Mr.
Jeffrey Knight, who is the legislative director of Friends of the
Earth, one of five environmental organizations which I represent.

After I complete my presentation, Mr. Knight will have one or
two more words to add concerning the views of Friends of the

Senator Glenn. Fine. I am glad you could join us.

Mr. Greenberg. Mr. Chairman, the importance of rationalizing our
regulatory framework and asserting a greater control over nuclear
export activities cannot be overemphasized.

It is fair to say that given the current lack of scientific knowledge,
regulatory competence and political stability worldwide, the environ-
mental groups which I represent have serious misgivings about pro-
ceeding to promote fission power development at this time.

However, upon the assumption that nuclear exports may continue,
I intend to leave aside that question this morning, and focus on why
the environmental groups believe there is a need for legislation such
as S. 1439, why they believe such legislation can be effective, and
how they believe such legislation might be structured.

The size of our nuclear export program is well documented and
need not be repeated here. This size has been achieved over the past
20 years with little analysis having been made of the risks which
the spread of fission power poses.

In particular, the combination of both promotional and regulatory
functions in one agency has led to the promotion of nuclear power
as a purely commercial enterprise at the expense of careful regula-

Specifically, as regards to the adequacy of the current regulatory
scheme in the United States, I would point out five particular areas
where remedies are appropriate :

First : The key stage in the overall nuclear export process has been
the negotiation and conclusion of agreements for cooperation which
have established the safeguards requirements applicable to transfers
of nuclear equipment, technology and fuels. No independent, non-
promotional agency has an effective check, at this state of the proc-
ess, over safeguards procedures to which the United States com-

Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. Senate. Committee on GoveThe Export reorganization act, 1975 : hearings before the Committee on Government Operations, United States Senate, Ninety-fourth Congress, first session, April 24, 30, and May 1, 1975 → online text (page 24 of 47)