Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, welcomed Senate passage of his bipartisan legislation to extend the 1958 U.S.-U.K. Mutual Defense Agreement to allow continued bilateral nuclear security cooperation.
The 1958 “Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (U.K.) for Cooperation on the Uses of Atomic Energy for Mutual Defense Purposes” has governed U.S. nuclear security cooperation with the U.K. for more than 50 years.  The agreement is renewed every 10 years, and without renewal, it would expire on December 31, 2014.
H.R. 5681, introduced last month by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY), extends the Agreement for another 10 years.  The legislation now goes to the President for his signature.   
Chairman Royce said:  “I am pleased to see this critical legislation head to the President’s desk for his signature.  The United States has no closer ally than the United Kingdom.  The Mutual Defense Agreement is a key pillar in our ‘special relationship.’   This legislation ensures that a vital aspect of that relationship – our nuclear security cooperation – continues uninterrupted.  Renewing this Agreement for another decade demonstrates our unwavering commitment to our partnership with the United Kingdom, an enduring ally.”
The 1958 Mutual Defense Agreement, enables the exchange of nuclear materials, technology, and information and has been renewed many times since its signing.  H.R. 5681:
·         enables the exchange of nuclear information, hardware, and material between the United States and United Kingdom governments;
·         updates existing policies regarding the training of nuclear personnel and personnel security;
·         improves cooperation on nuclear threat reduction efforts;
·         provides for the joint evaluation of potential enemy nuclear threats and capabilities;
·         allows for the cooperative development of mutual nuclear defense plans;
·         promotes bilateral research, development, and design of nuclear technologies;
·         adopts routine changes to legacy language in the original agreement.