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Risch Co-Chairs U.S.-UAE Nuclear Agreement Hearing

Highlights Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility

October 7, 2009

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Jim Risch co-chaired a Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee hearing today where he expressed support for a nuclear energy agreement between the U.S. and United Arab Emirates (UAE). The agreement would allow U.S. nuclear energy technologies and fuel to be sold to the UAE in exchange for their promise to not pursue nuclear enrichment capabilities.

"During my visit to the UAE earlier this year, I was impressed by their sincerity and commitment to use nuclear power for peaceful power generation purposes and to forsake enrichment," Risch said. "This agreement could very well be a model used not only in the region, but around the world for the development of nuclear energy."

Risch highlighted the stark contrast between the UAE who pledge transparency and International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards with rogue regimes like Iran that have pursued their own enrichment capabilities for nefarious purposes.

He also voiced Idaho's support for nuclear energy, highlighting the proposed Eagle Rock facility in Bonneville County, which he and the Idaho congressional delegation are working to bring on line.

"For this new model to work, the U.S. must be prepared to provide domestic enrichment capabilities, like those contemplated at the Eagle Rock site, to the rest of the world."

Risch is the ranking Republican member of the Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs.

Dr. Harold McFarlane of the Idaho National Laboratory also took part in today's hearing on the U.S. nuclear agreement with UAE.