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

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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 8 of 47)
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11.480 Kgs U-235

U.S. Nuclear, Inc., has a second order; 13.055 Kgs U

12.080 Kgs U-235

U.S. Nuclear, Inc., anticipates a third order of: 25.466 Kgs U

23.560 Kgs U-235


Senator Glenn. I would like to get into how we would set up an
intergovernmental control agency, if we decided to go that route, for
the next 10 years.

In this proposal, in licensing, I would like a general comment
from any of you here who have worked in this whole field, as to
the need for controls, both domestically and internationally.

Maybe it is a dodge at the current time, and yet it may be the
most "practical solution to some of this, and that is to require that
all plutonium, generated by nuclear power plants, must be kept in
place in a storage facility, at the plant, or where ever it is. And we
are not worried only about the transporting problem. There are
obviously new techniques — who knows, for example, what will
develop out of the laser technique for separating weapons-grade
uranium. And there are other areas of investigation that may make
reprocessing of fuel difficult, perhaps less costly in a controllable
situation, but one of the proposals that have been made is that we
just try and take plutonium and get everybody to agree to keep it
in place while we do some research on how to better handle it and
process it.

Do you favor that, oppose, it or is it unrealistic?

Dr. Friedman. Again, at the risk of hogging the microphone,
I think that the idea of holding onto the radiated fuel elements,
until appropriate reprocessing facilities and appropriately safe-
guarded facilities are available, and appropriate handling is avail-
able makes some sense.

In fact, in the United States, this is what is being done.

Currently, the fuel elements coming out of reactors are being
stored until reprocessing facilities are available.

It raises several problems. One, the actual physical capacity of
the storage facilities, they have to be stored and have to be pro-
tected from the safety point of view, the facilities have to be stored
under water, that is a problem.

Another problem, as I see it, is that all of this time we have
been talking about two aspects of the safeguards problem.

One is the diversion, national diversion which we feel is appro-
priately being addressed by International Atomic Energy Agency
safeguards. They have a well trained and large staff, and we have no
reason to feel that they are not doing an effective job on safeguarding
from the point of view of identifying possibilities for national

The other problem is the one that the committee has been
addressing, and is of particular concern, and that is subnational ter-
rorist activities, and even though spent fuel elements are not capable
without very significant sophisticated chemical processing, are not
capable of being fabricated into weapons, from a point of view of
terrorism, you still do not want highly radioactive material stored
in very significant quantities in some of these countries, so I think
that is one of the problems one might have with your proposal.

Senator Glenn. It is a very rapidly developing field obviously,
and as I indicated a moment ago, the laser process does not involve
reprocessing. All I was indicating ; s it is a very rapidly developing
field, and any agency alinement we set up should be flexible enough
so we do not have to keep changing it in light of new development.


Mr. Larson and Mr. Page, I might ask, what regulatory role
does the present Commission, or did the past Commission, play
in determining the adequacy of safeguards with respect to the
South African shipments ?

Mr. Larson. I am Howard Larson, Mi. Chairman. We received
the last application in November 1973, and our process in receiving
one of these applications is to look at it and review it for complete-
ness. That is, who is the exporter, which country it is going to,
what is the end use for the material — particularly if it is the type
of material as it was in this case — what type of packaging is
required to handle it, what is the form of the material, are there
any intermediate consignees, what is the quantity of the material.
This has been the process we have used in the past, when, of course,
there was one Atomic Energy Commission divided into a General
Manager side, and the Regulatory side.

As Mr. O'Leary pointed out, and I believe basically properly
described the performance of the function I just described, we sent
that application to the Division of International Security Affairs,
where they made the determination as to whether or not there
were "Agreements of Cooperation." or what agreements existed,
and whether it was proper for us to issue a license for the export
of that material.

That has been the situation in the past.

Senator Glexx. My time has far expired.

General Giller. May I comment on it, since ISA was under
my organization, I think it is not really fair to say ISA made the
determination. The Commission was the spokesman for the Federal

The Commission made the determination. The five members of
the Commission made the determination in principle on all exports.
In fact, in those situations that were important, they were raised
to their level of attention.

The Commission did not have the time to deal with situations
involving small amounts of material, or where the members of the
other executive branch agencies felt were not significant enough
to warrant policy consideration by the Commission. In carrying
out our function within the AEC, we were part of an operating
mechanism involving State, CIA, National Security Council, and
ACDA. We drew from there all of the background necessary to
make a determination, and to put down on paper the results and
send it across, within the AEC, from one operating arm to another.
I feel we should not leave the impression that the Commission dele-
gated to one staff individual in [Regulatory] their total responsi-
bility. That is incorrect, for there were times when we sent cases
to the Commission, and licenses were denied, for good reasons.

Senator Glexx. What were some of those reasons?

General Giller. As an example, a case happened 3 years ago.
A U.S. company requested a license to ship zircaloy rods to a
foreign country. You have to have reactor expertise to even know
that zircaloy rods are an important item. This is a special kind of
material used in reactors and they wanted to send it to India, the
Indians wanted to put it in an unsafeguarded reactor. When everyone


in our Government was consulted, and all of the facts were in, the
decision was reached to deny the license and it was never issued.
That is such an example.

Senator Percy. Mr. Chairman, I would like to express my ap-
preciation to this panel for being here, and also for thoughtfully
consulting with our majority and minority staff, in the preparation
for these hearings, and in the work that they did leading toward
legislation. We do wish to tell you how much we appreciate that.

I would like to pursue just a little bit more Senator Glenn's
comments, and questions on South Africa.

Primarily, I would like to pursue because charges have been
made, and because we are concerned that South Africa has not
signed the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, has no treaty abrogation
to restrain them from building an atomic weapon, or to insist on
safeguards against building weapons in its exports to other countries.

Because of the vote, I came in a little late. If I duplicate any
questions that have already been answered, in the transcript, it
will be fine to just let me know.

The charge has been made that we did permit a special computer
to go to South Africa to help it enrich its own uranium, and I think,
Mr. Meyer, you would probably best be qualified to answer and
respond to why we did that.

Was there consideration of not doing it?

What were the pros and cons on the matter?

Mr. Meter. Senator, we did license a computer, to the Foxboro
Co. As a matter of fact, there were two of these modest computers.
These are best described as standard computers; they were not
specially designed for nuclear research work.

Senator Percy. Are they available from any other computer
manufacturer outside the United States, and would they have been —
could they have been purchased to accomplish exactly the same
purpose and have the same capacity and capability, from outside
sources of supply from outside the country?

Mr. Meyer. A company official told me this morning that they
are available outside the United States and could serve the same

Senator Percy. And what?

Mr. Meyer. And could serve the same purpose at that facility.

Senator Percy. From what company?

Mr. Meyer. I do not have the specifics. I would be glad to identify
the companies and supply the information for the record.

The British, the French, the Japanese, the West Germans all
have computer manufacturing industries, and I suspect you would
find that a number of those countries have that capability.

[The information referred to and subsequently supplied follows:]

Computers Equal to Foxboro Fox 1 Available in 1971

Denmark — Regnecentralen RC 4000.

England— Computer Technology Modular I, Plessey XL 9, ICL 1900 series

several models).
France— CII Iris 50.

West Germany— Siemens 4004/3. Telefunken TR 86.
Israel— Elbit Model 100.


Italy — Laben Model 70.

Japan — Fujitsu Facom Mate, Hitachi Hitac 10, Mitsubishi Melcom 70, Pana-
sonic MC 7/F.
Norway — Norsk Data-Elektronikk Nord I.
Sweden— DATASAAB D22.
Netherlands— Phillips P 860, P 880.

Source : U.S. Department of Commerce, National Bureau of Standards.

Senator Percy. Before issuing a license on something with these
consequences, do we have our own facts, and our own knowledge,
and base it on our firsthand judgment? Was that a factor in the
considerations prior to the granting of this license?

Mr. Meter. We do have it on the staff, people that have this
knowledge. We do have the computer technicians, and these tech-
nicians do recognize the computers for what they are, namely in
terms of power, modest computers. In light of the fact that the
computers had a modest range of power, were available abroad,
and design, and since the software was conventional software, the
judgment was made that these computers could appropriately be

Senator Percy. What is the rough cost of such a computer?

Mr. Meyer. Rough cost?

Senator Percy. Yes.

Mr. Meyer. The two computers were valued at $1,725,000.

Senator Percy. When we take into account that in South Africa,
they have a surplus now of about 70 pounds of highly enriched
uranium, which is enough for about five nuclear weapons, how can
we account for the fact that they have two more orders at U.S.
Nuclear, Inc., Oak Ridge, Tenn., from South Africa, for fuel
elements containing 56 pounds of high enriched uranium, and that
we do anticipate, I understand, a third order containing an addi-
tional 56 pounds for a total of 112 pounds, which would be enough
for eight nuclear weapons. What consideration do we give when
a country like South Africa places orders with us, when we have
knowledge of this surplus material that they now have on hand
from previous orders?

Dr. Friedman. Senator Percy, I answered some aspects of that
question earlier, but let me recapitulate.

The operating requirements for that reactor, and the frequency
with the core of enriched uranium must be replaced, is such that
the quantity of material that they have is not an unusually large
quantity. Much of it is in the cooling tanks, where they are very
highly radioactive, and cannot be used as a nuclear weapon.

The current orders, the current requests from South Africa involve
one order for approximately 11.5 kilograms of U-235, and then there
is a second order of 12 kilograms and there is an anticipated third
order, but not yet in, of 23 kilograms of U-235.

Now, these orders are large enough so that they will be reviewed
carefully, even though, first of all, I should point out that the ura-
nium is supplied as fabricated fuels, so that again, they are not in
the^ form which is conveniently convertible to a weapon.

Second, of course, the International Atomic Energy Agency is
involved, and I would like to elaborate, because I think earlier
speakers might not have gone into that kind of detail, it involves


not only a materials accountability, which is important, but it involves
physical inspection, as well as tamper-proof instrumentation, to make
sure that when elements are in reactors, they cannot be surreptitiously
removed, so they are appropriately safeguarded.

Senator Percy. Dr. Friedman, do we have all of the details of the
agreement between IAEA and South Africa, as to their account-
ability, and the use of the safeguards?

Dr. Friedman. We have details as to the procedure, the safeguards
system to be applied; as regards the day-to-day safeguards, the
accountability records, and the plans for inspection, the IAEA is in
there, and in order to carry out the safeguards inspections, without
undue influence by other member countries, they feel they need to
keep their information to themselves.

I should like to complete one more thought, the size of the quan-
tities involved here are such that not only do we require, as always
the IAEA safeguards, but we will need to see ourselves that appro-
priate physical security provisions are in force before we will recom-
mend to the licensing authority that this material be shipped.

Senator Percy. Does South Africa have safeguards comparable
to ours against the theft of materials?

General Giller. As background to the question to which you are
referring, much of the South African fuel has been there and has
been returned to the United States after use.

A lot of it has come back already, and all fuel has been under
IAEA inspection which we described earlier. This gives us some
insight into their physical security. They do not have it moving
around from place to place because it is for one research reactor.

It is not really in transport, except in and out of the country.
It will not be reprocessed there. They have a very small localized
exposure to terrorist threats.

It was the U.S. Government that decided some 6 months ago, that
it would require an adequate physical security determination before
it would ship so-called trigger amounts of material. That is, amounts
above 5 kilograms of highly enriched uranium and 2 kilograms of
plutonium. Amounts below that, if lost, are not capable of being
made into a bomb. They are still accounted for under the IAEA
system. The point is if they were hijacked, and this would presum-
ably be by some subnational group, they would not be able to make
an explosive.

If the next shipment to South Africa exceeds these trigger quan-
tities, it will require that we do an analysis of their physical security
including an onsite inspection. Then the United States would reach
a determination in the executive branch, that their physical security
is adequate or not.

Since different countries have for example, various constitutional
provisions, we cannot have, realistically require parallel systems.
For example, if we have armed guards, then they would have to
have armed guards where it is not permitted. We have to determine
the adequacy, based not only on their published and unpublished
regulations, but also on confidential discussions that they have with
us bilaterally. Many countries don't publish their detailed security
information since this might reveal how to get around their security
combinations. They are willing to talk with the United States on a


confidential basis. They appreciate the fact that sufficient under-
standing of their physical security on our part is required.

We have had no problem in discussing with a number of countries
their interest in physical security in some detail. We have had five
countries come here already, of the nine who have been invited and
we have spent several days with them. "We discussed our research,
their research, and talked over their strengths and weaknesses. The
U.S. system is not the best in all its various aspects and for every

Every country has some strengths and weaknesses. We are all
rapidly reaching a general appreciation of the importance of physi-
cal security. It is only a question of how fast we and they get accom-
plished what is necessary.

Senator Percy. I know of the intensive reaction I felt in my own

State, when we were introducing nuclear technology in the Mideast.

We all know the intense reaction that the world had when India

made its announcement, and the concerns it caused other countries

on the subcontinent.

Motivation is a large factor.

Before we approve the export of weapon grade materials, do we
have a regular procedure, whereby the agency in charge of issuing
a license is briefed, as to what the motivations of the recipient country
may be, and what the likely consequences of the introduction of
this material into those countries may be?

General Giller. The Energy Research and Development Adminis-
tration is a member of the U.S. Intelligence Board. As such, we
are privy to all such documents. ERDA maintains three very active
research and development units in its weapons laboratories that do
work on weapons proliferation for the U.S. Government intelligence
agencies. Some export cases do require the use of intelligence, as
background. This is available to us on a regular and useful basis.

Senator Percy. Mr. Larson, would you care to respond to that
question? Do you personally attend agency briefings in each instance
where you are required to make a decision?

Mr. Larson. Not to my knowledge, sir. I took this position when
the Agency was formed, so I cannot say what happened before

Senator Percy. Do you think it would be a good idea to take that
factor, and what the motivation may be?

Mr. Larson. Yes, sir, I think it would be. I know in our own
particular case at this particular time, with our split with ERDA,
we are looking with ERDA, and other branches of the executive
department to determine what is and should be the proper way
for handling our responsibilities as we see them now.

As the Commissioners themselves have publicly indicated, they
are looking at each particular export license for significant quanti-
ties of source or special nuclear materials themselves. The staff
prepares the documentation for them, based on the information that
we have received and the documentation that we get, and presents
it to them. Then they make a judgment.

When Mr. Anders appears next week, he may be able to give
you the results of those meetings with other branches of the execu-
tive departments, so that he can tell you how we are proceeding.


At this time, though, we are working on a license by license, case by
case basis, where the Commission itself is heavily involved in the
licensing processing.

Senator Percy. You or your staff have necessary authority to
make such requests though for such background briefings?

Mr. Larson. I would assume that we have.

Senator Percy. Program clearances available to you and your
staff for that purpose?

Mr. Larson. I would expect that we have.

General Giller. One of the Commissioners himself has the clear-
ances. It is their responsibility to decide on clearances.

Mr. Larson. I know that members of the Commission, several
of them, are heavily involved in dealing with other groups, including
ERDA, the State Department, and Commerce.

Senator Percy. I wonder if someone could tell the committee
how many inspectors we have in our entire domestic safeguard
program ?

What is the size of the complement of inspectors that we have,
roughly ?

Mr. Page. Mr. Percy, I do not have the precise number, but it
is on the order of 70 inspectors that we have for the NRC inspection

Of course, there are inspectors in the ERDA facilities as well.

Senator Percy. I understand the IAEA budget provides only
about $4 million for international inspection, or about 60 inspectors
for 30 countries.

Would any of you care to comment on the adequacy of that budget.
How would that compare with our own budget of some 70 inspectors
for one country?

Dr. Friedman. Mr. Percy, the IAEA budget for their depart-
ment safeguards and inspection is $4,802,000.

Senator Percy. How many dollars?

Dr. Friedman. $4,802,000.

Out of a total IAEA professional staff, of 355

Senator Percy. Do you have a breakdown as to the number of
inspectors. Is my figure of 60 actual inspectors correct?

Dr. Friedman. The breakdown is as follows. In the Office of In-
spector General, and that is an administrative office, there are two
professionals and four nonprofessionals.

In the Division of Development, whose function is to develop safe-
guards, procedures and techniques, there are 22 professionals, and 9

In the Division of Operations, which has the responsibility of car-
rying out inspections, there are 72 professionals and 21 nonprofes-

That is the extent of the breakdown that I have available.

Senator Percy. Could you comment, Dr. Friedman, on the ade-
quacy of that budget, and the professional personnel connected with
the safeguard program that covers some 30 countries?

Dr. Friedman. My view is, I can say that it is an adequate num-
ber, but with the very rapid increases in nuclear power throughout
the world, this staff and the budget will have to be increased mark-


I believe that the increase is already being planned, but in some
I think that the number is adequate for today, it is inadequate for
tomorrow. . . .

Senator Percy. Do you happen to know whether provision is being
made to provide adequate budget to bring oust ream, and adequately
train enough personnel to take into account the known load factor
that we are going to have ?

Dr. Friedman. Qualitatively, I think the answer is yes, but I think
the representatives from the State Department may have some quan-
titative data.

Mr. Hoyle. I was not going to speak so much to the budget, al-
though maybe my colleagues can, but to the fact the 30 nations might
be a somewhat misleading figure in that the programs of many in-
volve only small research reactors and relatively nominal programs
compared to the United States, so I think one has to be somewhat
careful in making any comparisons on that basis.

Senator Percy. Senator Glenn, I have two questions left.
General Giller. I would like to add one point on the question of
the number of inspectors. That is one measure of the ability to in-
spect, or to know what is going on.

You basically want to know what is going on. The use of technol-
ogy, which is in place when the inspector is not there, is a most valu-
able addition. Even though there is not an inspector, there are mech-
anisms which permit the monitoring of special nuclear materials.
In ERDA there is a research and development program addressed to
the very point. How do you provide to people the equipment they
need to do a better job of safeguarding? We use all our laboratories
and our money to do it for the United States, and to make available
to IAEA. We will develop under special-order equipment especially
for them. Those inspections are supported by more than just people.
Mr. Page. I have looked at some documentation that we had with
us, and for this year, we had 50 inspectors. For fiscal year 1976 we
expect to have 70, but now the number is 50.
Senator Glexx. Fifty doing what ?

Mr. Page. Making safeguard inspections of licensed facilities.
Senator Glexx. Would it be passing on construction of a new
plant, this is strictly safeguards inspections?
Mr. Page. That is correct.

Senator Percy. General Giller, could you tell us approximately the
number of inspectors that EDRA has ?

I would like to get a feeling as to the total U.S. complement of
inspectors against the total international?

General Giller. ERDA only inspects government-owned plants,
and some of these plants have permanent resident civil servants in
large numbers, I guess you would say we have permanent inspectors.
Senator Percy. But those are some of the biggest in the world, and
the other uranium plants in other countries are government owned.
Why should not we get a figure then for ERDA and then the number
of inspectors they have, which covers government-owned plants?

General Giller. The situation is quite different than in the commer-
cial sector where you go in and out of the plant. Our inspectors are

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 8 of 47)