Classified information is slowly creeping into the day-to-day operations of businesses that have never before needed to comply with the strict requirements that accompany this information. And the questions being asked do not have intuitive answers: Can you refuse to hire an applicant who was arrested for drunk driving if the job requires obtaining a security clearance and accessing classified information? Can your company accept a $25 million loan from a European company if you handle classified government contracts? How frequently do your cleared employees need to be given training on handling classified information? How do you handle an internal investigation involving classified information if you do not hold a clearance?
The British government has determined that its exit from the European Union also must include withdrawal from the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom). According to a British government white paper, the 2008 EU Amendment Act provides that: "A reference to the EU in an Act or an instrument made under an Act includes ... a reference to [Euratom]."
Senator Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), along with a bipartisan group of senators that includes John McCain (R-AZ), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Dick Durbin (D-IL), introduced S.94, the “Counteracting Russian Hostilities Act of 2017.” While widely reported on for its proposed sanctions on the Russian Federation for cyberattacks on the United States, S.94 also contains a little-discussed provision aimed at civilian nuclear trade with Russia.
Section 209 of the bill would penalize any person who makes an investment that directly and significantly contributes to enhancing the ability of the Russian Federation to construct civil nuclear power plants. While the bill certainly covers the construction of civil nuclear plants in Russia, it is broadly phrased in a manner that could cover Russia’s construction of civil nuclear plants in other countries as well. The restriction on investments is limited to nuclear power plant construction, but the bill also would penalize any person who sells, leases, or provides goods, services, technology, information, or support to the Russian Federation that “could directly and significantly facilitate the maintenance or expansion of the construction, modernization, or repair of civil nuclear plants by the Russian Federation.” The dollar threshold for investments or goods, services, etc. is $1 million per transaction and $5 million per 12-month period.