1978 Scorecard Vote
Export-Import Bank Authorizations H.R. 12157. The vote is on the Cavanaugh amendment to require the Export-Import Bank to submit to Congress an evaluation of the nuclear safety standards in every nation where it helps to finance the sale of construction of a nuclear reactor. The evaluations would be based on analyses provided by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The Export-Import Bank currently loans about $1.6 billion a year to finance nuclear reactors in foreign nations, many of them countries with weak safety standards and a history of terror and repression. The Bank itself has no expertise for evaluating the environmental impact of these loans. Thus it loaned $600 million to the Phillipines for a reactor located close to several volcanoes, which has now become so controversial it will probably never be built.
Opponents argued that the Cavanaugh amendment was not needed because all our nuclear exports must already get a license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. That is true, but the licensing procedure has come after the loan decisions were already made, and the NRC has denied licenses only on relatively narrow grounds of military security. The amendment would require the NRC to do a broader investigation of the environmental impacts of our nuclear loans and make its expertise available to the Export-Import Bank before rather than after the financial decisions are made. The Carter Administration opposed the amendment. Rejected 106-266. July 27, 1978. YES is the correct vote.