The US Department of Energy (DOE) issued Order No. 486.1 on June 7 prohibiting DOE employees and contractors from participating in the foreign government “talent recruitment programs” of countries designated by the DOE as a “foreign country of risk,” which apparently include China and Russia. The order aims to balance the DOE’s broad scientific mission with national security interests by preventing the unauthorized transfer of scientific and technical information to certain foreign entities. DOE contractors and subcontractors within the utility and nuclear sectors should be prepared to implement controls to ensure that neither they nor their employees or subcontractors participate in these foreign-sponsored programs for identified countries.
The order represents another step in federal efforts to reduce the ability of certain foreign countries to obtain sensitive technical knowledge from critical US industries. The DOE was driven by concerns that foreign governments use talent recruitment programs to target scientists, engineers, and other technical experts to “reduce costs associated with basic research while focusing investment on military development or dominance in emerging technology sectors.”
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