NEI praises federal changes to nuclear export policy

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued final changes Wednesday to regulations in 10 CFR Part 810 that govern the export of U.S. commercial nuclear energy technology.

The Nuclear Energy Industry (NEI) applauded the agency’s efforts to substantially reform the regulation after urging the DOE to reexamine its processing protocol of nuclear export licenses. This step will allow the DOE to improve the overall efficiency and transparency of its export license approval process.

“We appreciate DOE’s acceptance of some of the nuclear industry’s recommendations that make the revised rules clearer and more focused,” NEI Vice President for Supplier and International Programs Daniel Lipman said. “NEI looks forward to working with the Energy Department to implement these reforms.”

Under present Part 810 regulations, DOE typically requires more than a year to process a Part 810 authorization, compared with 15 to 90 days for the same license issued by foreign governments.

“These licensing impediments create a competitive disadvantage for U.S. commercial nuclear exporters and thus compromise important national objectives,” Lipman said. “It is hoped that the process efficiencies and transparency to which DOE has committed will be implemented. This will absolutely have a positive effect on the issuance of future licenses.”

More than 70 nuclear energy facilities are currently under construction worldwide, with an additional 160 in the licensing or advanced planning stages. The U.S. Department of Commerce has estimated that every $1 billion of exports by U.S. companies creates or supports 5,000 to 10,000 domestic jobs.

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