The Atomic Energy Act prohibits the transfer to foreign entities of nuclear technologies used by the civilian nuclear industry unless explicitly authorized by the Secretary of Energy or a qualified designee (with the concurrence of the Department of State and in consultation with other federal agencies). H.R. 6351 would direct the Secretary of Energy to establish (in consultation with other affected agencies) expedited procedures for the Department of Energy (DOE) to follow in considering requests to transfer technologies.
Under the bill, those expedited procedures could be used only to consider requests for technologies that are considered to have a low risk of contributing to the proliferation of nuclear weapons and related technologies, and where the foreign government involved is not a state with nuclear weapons (other than the United Kingdom or France). In addition, H.R. 6351 would require DOE and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to complete a variety of reports and administrative requirements.
Using information from DOE and GAO, CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 6351 would not significantly affect the federal budget. CBO expects that any changes in federal spending to review requests to export nuclear technologies or to meet the bill’s reporting and administrative requirements (which would be subject to appropriation) would not exceed $500,000 in any year.
Enacting the bill would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 6351 would not increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2029.
H.R. 6351 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.