COMMERCE, ENERGY LABS REACH AGREEMENT ON EXPORT INVESTIGATIONS
U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Export Administration has reached agreements with the Energy Department to improve export compliance at its Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.
The agreement stems from illegal shipments made by the laboratories to Russia during the mid-1990s.
On four occasions from 1994 to 1996, the Los Alamos National Laboratory shipped materials to Russia without obtaining export licenses required under the Export Administration Regulations. The shipments were part of Energy’s Material Protection, Control and Accounting Program, which is designed to reduce the threat of Russian nuclear materials from ending up in the wrong hands. The illegal export made to Russia by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory occurred in 1994.
“If the labs had applied for licenses, it is likely the Commerce Department would have granted them because the exporters were covered by a presidential order to assist Russia in the control and monitoring of nuclear materials,” said F. Amanda DeBusk, assistant secretary of Commerce for export enforcement.
The agreements require Energy’s labs to audit past transactions to ensure that exports to countries of concern were in compliance with licensing requirements. The labs must also increase their staff training on export controls and provide increased technical support to Export Administration staff on nuclear materials.
The agreements will be reinforced by a new export control program implemented by Commerce and Energy, DeBusk said.