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US secretly approves Saudi nuclear ambitions

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry has approved six secret authorizations by companies to sell nuclear power technology and assistance to Saudi Arabia, according to a copy of a document seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

The Trump administration has quietly pursued a wider deal on sharing U.S. nuclear power technology with Saudi Arabia, which aims to build at least two nuclear power plants. Several countries including the United States, South Korea and Russia are in competition for that deal, and the winners are expected to be announced later this year by Saudi Arabia.

Perry’s approvals, known as Part 810 authorizations, allow companies to do preliminary work on nuclear power ahead of any deal but not ship equipment that would go into a plant, a source with knowledge of the agreements said on condition of anonymity. The approvals were first reported by the Daily Beast.

The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) said in the document that the companies had requested that the Trump administration keep the approvals secret.

“In this case, each of the companies which received a specific authorization for (Saudi Arabia) have provided us written request that their authorization be withheld from public release,” the NNSA said in the document. In the past, the Energy Department made previous Part 810 authorizations available for the public to read at its headquarters.

A Department of Energy official said the requests contained proprietary information and that the authorizations went through multi-agency approval process.

Many U.S. lawmakers are concerned that sharing nuclear technology with Saudi Arabia could eventually lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told CBS last year that the kingdom would develop nuclear weapons if its rival Iran did. In addition, the kingdom has occasionally pushed back against agreeing to U.S. standards that would block two paths to potentially making fissile material for nuclear weapons clandestinely: enriching uranium and reprocessing spent fuel.

Concern in Congress about sharing nuclear technology and knowledge with Saudi Arabia rose after U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed last October in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The Part 810 authorizations were made after November 2017, but it was not clear from the document whether any of them were made after Khashoggi’s killing.

Representative Brad Sherman, a Democrat, called on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a congressional hearing on Wednesday to release the names of the companies that got the approvals by the middle of April, and Pompeo said he would look into it. Sherman also said the Trump administration had attempted to evade Congress on sharing nuclear power with the kingdom.

Pompeo said the administration was working to ensure any shared technology nuclear power would not present proliferation risks.

Last month, Democratic House members alleged in a report that top White House aides ignored warnings they could be breaking the law as they worked with former U.S. officials in a group called IP3 International to advance a multibillion-dollar plan to build nuclear reactors in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia.

IP3 did not immediately respond to a request for comment about whether it was one of the companies that got a Part 810 authorization.

Separately, the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, accepted a request by Senators Marco Rubio, a Republican and Bob Menendez, a Democrat, to probe the administration’s talks on a nuclear deal with Saudi, the GAO said on Wednesday.

Source: Reuters

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2 comments

  1. Angel NicGillicuddy

    One way to keep the nuclear energy
    Components
    (In whatever form they end up)
    From getting into the wrong hands,
    Is to establish
    A buyer that can compete strongly
    With The Dark Forces.
    This is what is happening.
    It a good thing.
    And it is also known ( by those who are
    The most familiar with
    “How money functions” including
    President Trump ),
    That at the just the right time
    In The Grand Sequence of things
    The formal declaration will be made
    To declare Demurrage
    On The US dollar.
    Lazer Focus, which is happening now
    By The Trump administration
    and their partners
    Will get us through this,
    Some may call it Armageddon.
    We will be prepared.
    And it will be done and over
    Swiftly.
    And then,
    We may freely
    Continue what we came here to do.
    It was NOT to destroy a world.
    All that stuff came as a consequence
    Of using a hoardable form of money.
    We knew not what we were doing.
    We know better now.
    To break The Spell
    It is only necessary
    To begin the discussion
    About un-hoardable money;
    Money with adjustable
    controllable Demurrage.
    It is IMPOSSIBLE to manage
    A form of money
    Which can be removed from
    Circulation
    And hidden
    Even in massive hoards
    Stashed away as CASH,
    Especially US Dollars
    Since that is what we have been using
    so much of in the world
    For the last almost 100 years.
    We are in the process of
    Fixing the mess.
    Thank you President Trump
    And his administration
    And partners around the world.
    It’s a small group funding
    The Dark Forces,
    And their power lies in
    Hoardable money.
    We can “melt” their
    Power.
    And there need be no blood at all.
    It’s an economic decision.
    Everyone will benefit
    In the end
    When we push through Capitalism
    To The Other Side,
    Paradise,
    Here
    On Earth.

    I am at your service,
    Angel NicGillicuddy 💜
    ShiBboLeTh
    The Settlement
    The Retirement of Santa

  2. Angel NicGillicuddy

    Actually a very strategic and clever move
    To assure that
    The Dark Forces can’t
    Just buy ALL the components real quick
    When they hear that their hoardable money
    Is about to start melting.
    Just the talk about declaring Demurrage
    On Money ( in particular The US dollar
    To begin with ) makes them
    Nervous.
    They have always been very nervous
    And fearful.
    I am at your service,
    Angel NicGillicuddy 💜

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