S 640

112th CONGRESS
1st Session

S. 640

To underscore the importance of international nuclear safety cooperation for operating power reactors, encouraging the efforts of the Convention on Nuclear Safety, supporting progress in improving nuclear safety, and enhancing the public availability of nuclear safety information.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 17, 2011

Mr. AKAKA (for himself and Mr. CARPER) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations


A BILL

To underscore the importance of international nuclear safety cooperation for operating power reactors, encouraging the efforts of the Convention on Nuclear Safety, supporting progress in improving nuclear safety, and enhancing the public availability of nuclear safety information.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Furthering International Nuclear Safety Act of 2011'.

SEC. 2. PURPOSES.

    The purposes of this Act are as follows:

      (1) To recognize the paramount importance of international nuclear safety cooperation for operating power reactors.

      (2) To further the efforts of the Convention on Nuclear Safety as a vital international forum on nuclear safety.

      (3) To support progress in improving nuclear safety for countries that currently have or are considering the development of a civilian nuclear power program.

      (4) To enhance the public availability of nuclear safety information.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:

      (1) APPROPRIATE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES- The term `appropriate congressional committees' means--

        (A) the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate;

        (B) the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate;

        (C) the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate;

        (D) the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives;

        (E) the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives; and

        (F) the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the House of Representatives.

      (2) CONVENTION- The term `Convention' means the Convention on Nuclear Safety, done at Vienna September 20, 1994, and ratified by the United States April 11, 1999.

      (3) MEETING- The term `meeting' means a meeting as described under Article 20, 21, or 23 of the Convention.

      (4) NATIONAL REPORT- The term `national report' means a report as described under Article 5 of the Convention.

      (5) PARTY- The term `party' means a nation that has formally joined the Convention through ratification or other means.

      (6) SUMMARY REPORT- The term `summary report' means a report as described under Article 25 of the Convention.

SEC. 4. UNITED STATES EFFORTS TO FURTHER INTERNATIONAL NUCLEAR SAFETY.

    The President shall instruct the United States official serving as the delegate to the meetings of the Convention on Nuclear Safety pursuant to Article 24 of the Convention to use the voice, vote, and influence of the United States, while recognizing that these efforts by parties are voluntary, to encourage, where appropriate--

      (1) parties to more systematically assess where and how they have made progress in improving safety, including where applicable through the incorporation of performance metric tools;

      (2) parties to increase the number of national reports they make available to the public by posting them to a publicly available Internet Web site of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA);

      (3) parties to expand public dissemination of written answers to questions raised by other parties about national reports by posting the information to a publicly available Internet Web site of the IAEA;

      (4) the IAEA to further its support of the Convention, upon request by a party and where funding is available, by--

        (A) providing assistance to parties preparing national reports;

        (B) providing additional assistance to help prepare for and support meetings, including language translation services; and

        (C) providing additional technical support to improve the safety of civilian nuclear power programs; and

      (5) all countries that currently have or are considering the establishment of a civilian nuclear power program to formally join the Convention.

SEC. 5. STRATEGIC PLAN.

    Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State, in cooperation with the heads of other relevant United States Government agencies, shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees the United States Government's strategic plan and prioritized goals for international nuclear safety cooperation for operating power reactors.

SEC. 6. REPORTS.

    (a) Report on Implementation of Strategic Plan-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Not later than 180 days after the issuance of each of the first two summary reports of the Convention issued after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State, in cooperation with the heads of other relevant United States Government agencies, shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report that--

        (A) describes the status of implementing the strategic plan and achieving the goals set forth in section 5; and

        (B) enumerates the most significant concerns of the United States Government regarding worldwide nuclear safety and describes the extent to which the strategic plan addresses these concerns.

      (2) FORM- The report required under paragraph (1) shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may contain a classified annex.

    (b) Report on United States Efforts To Further International Nuclear Safety- Not later than 180 days after the issuance of each of the first two summary reports of the Convention issued after the date of the enactment of this Act, the United States official serving as the delegate to the meetings of the Convention shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report providing the status of achieving the actions set forth in section 4.

END