Senate and House Committees voted Wednesday to approve President Reagan's long-delayed agreement to share nuclear-power technology with China, but both panels blocked any shipments by U.S. corporations until the President receives firmer assurances that China won't divert material to countries trying to build nuclear weapons.
In a strong rebuff to the Administration's handling of the nuclear accord, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 11 to 3 to set the new condition. Hours later the House Foreign Affairs Committee agreed to the same language on a voice vote.
After Wednesday's votes, James B. Devine, a deputy assistant secretary of state involved in the negotiations with the Chinese, said: "We have looked at this and concluded it will not undercut the implementation of the agreement."
The resolution does not give Congress veto power over proposed nuclear shipments, but requires a 30-day waiting period for issuing export licenses for U.S. nuclear technology, after a corporation has won a contract from the Chinese. During that time, the President must certify to Congress that the Administration has clarified how the United States would prevent China from diverting that technology to other countries.