Republican lawmakers are urging renewal of a civilian nuclear cooperation agreement between the U.S. and close ally South Korea.
The current 30-year pact expires in 2014.
Illinois Republican Rep. Donald Manzullo (man-ZOO'-loh) told a House hearing Wednesday that broadening the current pact would help South Korea develop a reliable source of domestic energy and boost U.S. manufacturers.
Daniel Lipman of Westinghouse Electric Co. urged early renewal of the agreement. He said South Korea plans to expand nuclear power output that already supplies a third of its electricity. Most of its reactors use U.S. technology.
Senior State Department official Jim Zumwalt said the success of the South Korean nuclear industry helps the U.S. industry too, and the two governments are discussing a successor agreement.