September 29, 2008

Dear Dr. Gould:

Thank you for writing about the U.S.-India nuclear energy agreement. I appreciate the time you took to write me. As you may know, India has agreed to separate its civilian and military nuclear program over the next eight years and take other steps in order to receive U.S. nuclear technology and fuel.

On November 16, 2006, the Senate voted to approve the “Henry J. Hyde United States and India Nuclear Cooperation Promotion Act of 2006” (H.R.5682), exempting India of certain requirements of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954. This legislation grants the Administration the ability to initiate negotiations with India about nuclear energy cooperation, but any final agreement between both countries remains subject to the Senate’s review and approval. This bill was signed into law by the President on December 18, 2006.

In spite of a number of serious concerns about this agreement-particularly with regard to its possible implications on nonproliferation efforts-I decided to vote in favor of H.R. 5682 because it contains provisions to limit the scope of India’s use of existing nuclear resources and strengthen its nonproliferation measures. Under the terms of this Act:

–any nuclear cooperation agreement will be terminated if India conducts a nuclear test, proliferates nuclear weapons or nuclear materials, or reneges on its commitments to the International Atomic Energy Agency;

–the President must determine that India is meeting its nonproliferation commitments;

–the Nuclear Suppliers Group must decide by consensus and according to its rules to permit nuclear trade with India;

–the export of any equipment, materials, or technology related to the enrichment of uranium, the reprocessing of nuclear fuel, or the production of heavy water is prohibited;

–the President must create a program to monitor the end use of items exported to India to ensure that they are not diverted to non-peaceful activities, and;

–no action may be taken to violate U.S. obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

As the Administration launches formal discussions on a nuclear energy agreement with India, I plan to closely monitor these negotiations to ensure that they do not undermine our nonproliferation efforts. Be assured that I will keep your thoughts in mind as the Senate debates issues related to this proposed agreement in the 110th Congress.

Again, thank you for writing. I hope you will continue to keep me informed of your views and concerns. If you have any further questions or comments, please do not hesitate to call my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841. Best regards.

Sincerely yours,

Dianne Feinstein

United States Senator