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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Message to the Congress Concerning a Nuclear Agreement with Australia.

I am pleased to transmit to the Congress, pursuant to sections 123 b. and 123 d. of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2153(b), (d)) (the "Act"), the text of a proposed Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Australia Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy.  I am also pleased to transmit my written approval, authorization, and determination concerning the Agreement, and an unclassified Nuclear Proliferation Assessment Statement (NPAS) concerning the Agreement.  In accordance with section 123 of the Act, as amended by title XII of the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act of 1998 (Public Law 105 277), a classified annex to the NPAS, prepared by the Secretary of State in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence, summarizing relevant classified information, will be submitted to the Congress separately.  The joint memorandum submitted to me by the Secretaries of State and Energy and a letter from the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission stating the views of the Commission are also enclosed.

 The proposed Agreement has been negotiated in accordance with the Act and other applicable law.  In my judgment, it meets all applicable statutory requirements and will advance the nonproliferation and other foreign policy interests of the United States.

 The proposed Agreement provides a comprehensive framework for peaceful nuclear cooperation with Australia based on a mutual commitment to nuclear nonproliferation.  The Agreement has an initial term of 30 years from the date of its entry into force, and will continue in force thereafter for additional periods of 5 years each, unless terminated by either party on 6 months' advance written notice at the end of the initial 30 year term or at the conclusion of any of the additional 5 year periods.  The proposed Agreement permits the transfer of information, material, equipment (including reactors), and components for nuclear research and nuclear power production.  It does not permit transfers of Restricted Data, sensitive nuclear technology, sensitive nuclear facilities, or major critical components of such facilities.  In the event of termination of the proposed Agreement, key nonproliferation conditions and controls continue with respect to material, equipment, and components subject to the proposed Agreement.

 Australia is a non-nuclear weapon state party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).  Australia has concluded a Safeguards Agreement and Additional Protocol with the International Atomic Energy Agency.  Australia is a party to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, which establishes international standards of physical protection for the use, storage, and transport of nuclear material.  It is also a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, whose non-legally binding guidelines set forth standards for the responsible export of nuclear commodities for peaceful use.  A more detailed discussion of Australia's domestic civil nuclear activities and its nuclear nonproliferation policies and practices, including its nuclear export policies and practices, is provided in the NPAS and the NPAS classified annex submitted to the Congress separately.

 I have considered the views and recommendations of the interested agencies in reviewing the proposed Agreement and have determined that its performance will promote, and will not constitute an unreasonable risk to, the common defense and security.  Accordingly, I have approved the Agreement and authorized its execution.  I urge the Congress to give it favorable consideration.

 This transmission shall constitute a submittal for purposes of both sections 123 b. and 123 d. of the Act.  My Administration is prepared to begin immediately the consultations with the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs as provided in section 123 b.  Upon completion of the 30 days of continuous session review provided for in section 123 b., the 60 days of continuous session review provided for in section 123 d. shall commence.


May 5, 2010.