United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Gove.

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

. (page 3 of 47)
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 3 of 47)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

how these things are really approached and proliferated and how the
proposed interagency realignment of responsibility would have pre-
vented this or would have made it a more controlled situation than
apparently it was. Do you have any comments?

Dr. Ikle. I think the distinction should be made here between the
Congress and the appropriate Congressional committees having the
information, and full public knowledge. The information regarding
these transactions, of course, is available to Congress.

1 See appendix p. 522.


Some of these transactions, for the right or wrong reasons, attract
more publicity than others.

Chairman Ribicoff. Doctor Friedman, do you have that informa-
tion now ?

Dr. Friedman. Yes, I do.

Chairman Ribicoff. Will you give it to us at this point ?

Dr. Friedman. I am sorry, it was Mr. Price's statement and he
said, last year U.S. sales of uranium and enrichment services abroad
totalled $421 million and expected sales over the next 10 years would
amount to about $5 billion at today's prices.

This, he said, is in addition to between $1.5 and $2 billion annually
in sales of services, equipment, and facilities by U. S. industry.

Chairman Ribicoff. How about the other half of Senator Glenn's
question, as to what is being sold by nations other than the U. SJ
Is that in there ?

Dr. Friedman. That is in Senator Pastore's statement in tabular
form. It is somewhat difficult to extract. Again, if you will permit
me when I am on the panel, maybe we will do that.

Chairman Ribicoff. All right.

Senator Glenn. On your current methods of licensing, do you
think that this would be enhanced if we had to look at it from a
business standpoint — a lead agency concept of licensing such as is
proposed in this bill ?

I am not asking for a blanket approval of this bill. I know the
Administration perhaps has not talked with all of the agencies and
come up with a position, so I am not asking for a support or denial
of what is being proposed. I would solicit your comments in regard to
the specific question of licensing, however.

Dr. Ikle. Efficient coordination concerning licensing decisions is
very important in order to bring together the legitimate commercial
interests and points that have to be brought to bear with regard to
foreign policy and considerations.

It is my view that we have an efficient mechanism for coordinating
these decisions, and in particular, from where I sit, to bring in
foreign policy considerations, but you are right, Senator Glenn, I did
not have the time, as you recognized, to analyze the proposed bill and
we do not have an administrative response on it.

Senator Glenn. You stressed in your statement the importance of
control of exports and nuclear material that are commensurate with
our own security needs here, the importance of support for the Inter-
national Atomic Energy, the importance of making NPT more effec-
tive, and the importance of sustaining our alliance commitments —
that we could not go it alone. Obviously, we want to stress the same
things in any new interagency setup in our Government, to be sure
that it reflects those international interests, because that will be of
primary importance to us in the future.

Have you had any difficulty under the current setup in working
with IAEA, for instance, or in working out cooperative arrangements?

I understand that the IAEA is working fully undermanned and
has a very small operation, compared with the size of the problem.

What I am getting at is nuclear proliferation something we can
control internationally with other nations, or is it something we have


to deal with by protecting our own exports of material, or are we
forced to enter into an international arrangement in which we have
to give up some of our own authority to them ? That would alter our
own interagency relationship as provided in this bill.

Dr. Ikle. We do need an internationalized approach and par-
ticularly since we are not the only supplier of this technology, but
also, because recipient countries, in many cases, are more receptive to
international safeguards, than to just bilateral safeguard arrange-

Senator Glenn. Do the French, for instance, do they require any
safeguards at all, or are they just interested in selling nuclear equip-
ment and material?

Dr. Ikle. No, the government of France does require safeguards,
usually IAEA type safeguards on their exports.

Senator Glenn. All right. My time is up.

Chairman Eibicoff. Senator Percy?

Senator Percy. I would like to talk for just a moment, Dr. Ikle,
and have your judgment on the export policy of this country.

How would you characterize the U.S. Nuclear Export Policy?

Do you think we have a consistently thought-through policy?

Dr. Ikle. Senator Percy, it is in part in anticipation of this ques-
tion or in response to this question that I initially made a few points
about the historic development of our export policy in order to put
it into a larger context. I think it is only if you put it into a larger
context that you can appreciate these long-term developments, such as
the one mentioned by Senator Glenn, laser technology, and plan

Quite clearly, I think we can all admit and recognize that we are
taking a critical look at our export policy. In an effort to try to
tighten up safeguards and regulations, we are turning in a different
direction than the turn we took in 1945.

Now, how far we can go in this new direction, without becoming
counterproductive is really the criminal question, since we are, to
repeat once more, no longer the only suppliers of nuclear technology.

To simply cut ourselves off from the countries that wish to import
technology and thus permit other countries to step in, we may have
less influence than we sought to develop a more balanced policy.

Senator Percy. Would you characterize our current organizations
of our Government for authorizing nuclear exports as somewhat con-
fusing, as a result of sort of evolution ?

Dr. Ikle. It is an evolutionary policy. It has many layers; it is
very complex, if I may use that term, instead of saying confused.

An extensive report has been prepared on this policy in compliance
with an amendment introduced by Senator Stevenson.

Senator Percy. Would it be the end result of this confusion that
led to the situation, which is particularly disturbing to me, where we
made a decision to export to date about 100 pounds of highly en-
riched weapons-grade uranium to South Africa, which would be
enough for about 10 bombs, and then we licensed a U.S. computer to
assist the South African governments to build its own enrichment

Is that a desirable development ?


Dr. Ikle. I am not sure whether the publicity attendant on this
export really gives a well-rounded picture.

We are talking here, if I remember correctly, about a research
reactor using highly enriched uranium, which has been in operation
for a long time ; and we are talking about a country, which was just
mentioned by Senator Glenn, that recently announced it had success-
fully tested its own uranium enrichment technology. The question
arises about what additional capability is being added by supplying
this highly enriched uranium to South Africa.

This reactor went critical in 1965. This highly enriched uranium
reactor is something that has been in operation for 10 years.

Senator Percy. Do we have any evidence or suspicion that en-
riched uranium from South Africa has been introduced to any coun-
try in the Middle East ?

Dr. Ikle. I do not know of any suspicion.

Senator Percy. What was the role of ACDA in South African de-
velopment ?

Did your agency know of it?

Dr. Ikle. This goes back to a decision to provide the research
reactor in the early 1960's or perhaps before. Actually ACDA was
established in 1961, and I would have to check whether back in those
years the agency was involved in the decision.

Of course, IAEA safeguards are applicable to this research

Senator Percy. Are there any efforts being made within the Fed-
eral Government that you know of to stop this export ?

Dr. Ikle. We have a very active work going on to constantly reex-
amine our export policy, to see what we can do together with other
nations, say in the framework of the IAEA. We also continually re-
examine any changes in the procedures that might be needed.

We have tightened up, maybe a half year ago or so, the coordination
process among the various agencies.

Senator Percy. Could you describe a little more what role your
agency has now in the establishment of that policy, and has your
agency taken a position to attempt to stop such exports that might
be subject to question ?

If you have not taken any steps, why not ?

Dr. Ikle. We have taken very active steps, and it is the role of the
Arms Control and Disarmament Agency to consider first of all, our
treaty obligations, such as the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which im-
pose an obligation on us not to contribute to the spread of nuclear

Second, for each individual decision, whether it be sales of reactors
to Israel or Iran, or some other export decision, we participate to-
gether with the other appropriate agencies. We make our inputs and
argue whatever the case may be for not going ahead with a particu-
lar export, or for imposing restrictions or for approving.

Senator Percy. Decades ago, a proposal was made that the nuclear
countries establish international facilities for enriching uranium and
reprocessing spent fuel.

It would seem that this would be a more economical way of doing
it, and it might well provide reduced possibilities for diversion and
misuse of material.


Could you comment, Dr. Ikle, on the potential such proposal might
offer and what your own position, the position of the agency, is on it?

Why can't we identify and create facilities in six or seven easily
accessible sites in the world that would serve the major world regions
for key manufacturing stages for nuclear fuel cycle?

Dr. Ikle. We look forward to the possibility of the multilateral or
international arrangements for reprocessing plutonium, and perhaps
in the more distant future, the possibility of multinational agencies
for enriching uranium might be considered.

It has indeed, Senator Percy, the advantage of making safeguards
against proliferation more effective because it would have nationals
of several countries cooperating, particularly countries that may be
close neighbors; and hence, if they are not assured of each other's
attention, they get into competition or competitive situations, leading
to a small nuclear arms race, which we want to prevent.

Second, while the evaluations are not quite completed, they appear
to point toward the conclusion that also, from an economic stand-
point, larger facilities would be more efficient. Happily, therefore,
we have a coincidence of what we would want from an arms control
point of view and what you would want from the point of economic

Senator Percy. If there are very distinct advantages, in your judg-
ment, what is impeding a U.S. effort toward moving toward this

Is there any agency of Government standing in the way of this?
For instance, is the State Department, ERDA, or anyone else rais-
ing objections and impeding our progress?

Dr. Iklf. Senator Percy, the problem is not internal, it is external.

This development will be paced by the degree to which other na-
tions that want to mce ahead in developing their own autonomous
fuel cycle are willing to share in development, indeed, to intermingle
with other countries in setting up such a fuel cycle. What you have
here are national motivations which militate toward developing a
situation where no other nation could interfere or intervene in a
nation's fuel supply.

Senator Percy. On the question that Senator Glenn raised on the
new laser technique announced this morning, would that announce-
ment have been made by us, if it was not discovered that scientists
in the Soviet Union have also developed a similar technique?

Dr. Ikle. The possibility of enriching uranium with the laser ap-
proach has been discussed in scientific journals for some time, in fact
the first discussion appeared several years ago, so in that sense, it is
not new. The extent to which it would be commercially feasible or
technically feasible, that is still an open question.

Senator Percy. Would it be desirable for the Soviet Union and
the United States to place high priority on bilateral discussions, or
have priority talks take place, as to whether or not a policy should
be adopted by both countries to strictly control spread of this new
technology, taking into account that such knowledge makes peaceful
nuclear energy much cheaper, but also it makes the potential of cre-
ating economical destructive weapons much easier.

Dr. Ikle. It would be desirable; it is desirable; and it is being


In this context, we have to keep in mind the structures that already
exist for cooperation with the Soviet Union and the many other coun-
tries which are members of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
These structures gain increasing importance because of their political
constraint and when added to the strictures of the Nonproliferation
Treaty provide best for the long-term future, since technological
constraints will become increasingly ineffective in light of the general
spread of technology.

Only a few days ago, we sat down together with Soviet representa-
tives and British representatives in London, as the three depository
powers of the Nonproliferation Treaty, to discuss the future of that
treaty and the review conference.

Senator Percy. And did those discussions deal directly with this
new laser technique ?

Dr. Ikle. Those discussions dealt with the Nonproliferation Treaty
and the NPT Review Conference in particular.

Senator Percy. Do I understand the discussions

Dr. Ikle. Of course, it is very much embodied in the treaty that
the objective is to prevent the diffusion of the capability for making
nuclear explosives, and hence, any kind of technology, whether laser
or otherwise, would be within the purview of that treaty.

Senator Percy. Mr. Chairman, my time is up.

Dr. Ikle. I hope I have answered your question.

Senator Percy. Well, I think before I leave, if my colleagues
would not mind, and just so I understand, is it clear that discussions
have occurred between the United States and the Soviet Union already
on this new laser technique and have pertained to the desirability of
controlling the proliferation of that knowledge and the spread of
that scientific technique?

Dr. Ikle. The discussions that have taken place, both within the
framework of the IAEA with other countries and this meeting in
London that I have referred to, were in broader context, looking at
all technologies, not only on laser technology. There is no reason to
have a meeting or particular session on just that one issue.

It is only part and parcel of the larger problem.

Senator Percy. Mr. Chairman, I would like to comment that Dr.
Ikle's testimony is a model for all witnesses before the Congress.

I do not imagine we have ever been able to ask more questions and
to have them answered more precisely than you have done this
morning. We appreciate it.

Dr. Ikle. Thank you.

Chairman Ribicoff. I would like the opportunity for myself and
others to submit written questions to you for the record and have
your responses that way. Thank you very much.

Senator Glenn. May I ask one question, Mr. Chairman?

Let me ask just one more question and that is rather fundamental
to I think our whole consideration.

It seems to me that through much of our nuclear energy develop-
ment, we have relied on having a technological monopoly — if you
want to term it that — in this field, and on our ability to control our
monopoly or work in concert with other nations who had a similar
monopoly — near monopoly, say — among just a few nations.


Now, technological monopolies are very short lived in this modern
world, and what is one nation's information privately now will be-
come another nation's common knowledge a very few years hence.

In this whole effort of arms control, it would seem to me that we
are just at about a breakout point, where this type technology is
available to everyone. I do not want to castigate your efforts here,
but I wonder whether we are not in a situation where, instead of
having arms control, we almost have arms out of control, or border-
ing on that status, by just the proliferation of that information to
almost everyone all over the world.

I would solicit your comments later — I know we have a time lim-
itation now — but either privately by letter, or for the record, I would
like to know what you feel can be done to better control this whole

I know that is your day-in, day-out work. At the same time, I
think technology — like the laser information we have discussed this
morning — is breaking out to the extent that instead of having nu-
clear arms control, we are bordering on atomic arms out of control.
I would certainly appreciate your comments on what you think would
be any new, better means of coping with this.

I do not think we can go just with plutonium reprocessing controls
because one of these days we will have centrifuge techniques and laser
techniques and possibly 14 more techniques by 2 years from now for
producing weapons-grade nuclear materials. Technology will break
out somewhere else, and we need a whole new concept of controls
if we are to really have nuclear arms control that is meaningful and
not just a cosmetic.

Mr. Ikle. I fully agree, Senator Glenn, in a way we are moving
into what I call a "new nuclear era," we have to develop the instru-
ments and consensus to maintain control of nuclear explosives so
they will not be used for destructive purposes.

This will require a process of building up institutions, organiza-
tions, techniques, technology. It is a major new change, but we must
look at this positively.

We in the United States, in the past, have been very effective and
very inventive in building international organizations and providing
the technology to make them efficient, so I think one should look at
this as a promising pressure, a pressure provided by the development
of technology, that will force us to look at international cooperation
constructively. We cannot be defeatist about it because, if we are, the
future of not only our security but the structure of our society will
be totally jeopardized.

Senator Glexn. I appreciate your patience.

Senator Percy. Mr. Chairman, may I ask that Dr. Ikle be per-
mitted to submit to the committee responses to any of the questions
that we ask him, particularly about the new laser technique on a
classified basis, if it would add to our information.

I realize we get into areas that it is difficult for you to answer fully
in open hearing. If we could be enlightened by a classification placed
on any document you care to give, we would appreciate that very

Dr. Ikle. I would be pleased to do this, with the proviso that


where we get into areas which really are the province of my colleagues
in ERDA, we can turn to them and have that agency provide you
the information.

Senator Percy. The thrust of my comments, which is a status of
bilateral discussion with the Soviet Union on new laser technique
and how they would be controlled, I would like you to have available
to us.

Dr. Ikle. Certainly. I would like to respond to your questions.

Chairman Ribicoff. Thank you, Dr. Ikle.

Our first panel of witnesses today is composed of Mr. John F.
O'Leary, former Director of Licensing, Atomic Energy Commission,
Mr. David M. Rosenbaum, nuclear safeguards specialist; and Mr.
Mason Willrich, professor of law, University of Virginia.



Chairman Ribicoff. Will you gentlemen identify yourselves?

Mr. O'Leary. My name is John P. O'Leary.

Mr. Rosenbaum. I am David M. Rosenbaum.

Mr. Willrich. I am Mason Willrich.

Chairman Ribicoff. Would you like to make a statement, one or
two of you, or all of you ?

Mr. O'Leary. I have filed a statement with the committee for the
record. I would like to make a very short supplementary statement.

Chairman Ribicoff. You go ahead, and your entire statement will
be entered in the record at the end of your testimony.

Mr. O'Leary. First of all, I think the committee should know that
among the options I have examined for providing energy for the
United States, nuclear appears to be the one most highly desirable.

That is my starting point for these discussions. I think in order to
secure the option, there are three broad ranges of problems we have
to deal with, first of all safety, and I think we are well along on that.

The work that ERDA and NRC have done over the past few
months or their predecessor agencies over the past year and a half
or 2 years, are really bringing that along to the point that I think we
can feel comfortable, at least prospectively.

Storage is the second major question. How can we assure that this
will not, this type of technology will not go on and on through the
ages, causing damage.

I think the Atomic Energy Commission and successor agencies
have not addressed that problem adequately.

There are signs now in the press that ERDA is beginning only in
the past few weeks to look realistically at this problem.

I think it is solvable. It can be solved, and hopefully we will be
able to put that one out of the way.

The third, and I think far and away the most difficult of these
problems has to do with the problem of the safeguarding of these
materials, to be sure they do not fall into the wrong hands and cause
major damage to the public health and safety.

The AEC during my tenure was only beginning to address the


To understand it, I think you have to recognize, Mr. Chairman,
that we have seen in most weapons systems the transfer in a remark-
able short period of time from the rare to the common.

In 1945, we looked upon the infrastructure requirements for nu-
clear energy as being enormous, beyond the capabilities of any State
other than the United States.

From the standpoint of 1945, we were assured of many, many
years of absolute monopoly in the nucelar business ; yet we found by
1949, that particular myth was exploded, the infrastructure require-
ments were not that great, we were beginning to see the commonality
of that particular set of weapons.

We have gotten to the point where a few people, well instructed in
the technology, poorly funded, using materials freely available on
the economy, except for the special nuclear material itself, can in the
very good judgment of the experts in this field, put together at least
a workable crude nuclear weapon.

I think we have to contend with that as a fact of life.
There is a fourth point, and it has to do with the safeguard issue
of proliferation. I think we have gotten to the point where in fact
the technology is so common, that we will see, regardless of whether
we like it or not, the spread of the capability, not perhaps the actual
application, but the capability among most of the nations of the
world, within the next 10 to 15 years, of making nuclear weapons.
And I think we will have to address the problem of international
safeguards as a matter of higher urgency than has been the case in
the past, as the spread of reactors throughout the world has been
accelerated. And I think it will continue to accelerate in the next 10
years, as the means and materials fall into the hands of all nations
that have nuclear reactors to do processing on a small scale, to make
plutonium. It only takes a little plutonium to make a weapon, and
the weapon's capability is there, and we must see that safeguards are

My idea is to discuss very briefly the aspects of this problem, first,
who controls the exports.

I think we find here a variant of the old shell game. In fact, it is
very, very difficult for anyone in the system to find out who has the
responsibility. The NRC, or at least it predecessor agency the AEC
did the actual licensing, but in fact, its action in issuing the licens-
ing was purely ministerial.

They did not exercise judgment. It was based upon the assumption
that the Department of State, the Arms Control Administration,
and others would go through all of the necessary clearances, and the
regulatory function in issuing the license was simply to put a stamp

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 3 of 47)