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P.M. BRIEFING : U.S. OKs, Backs Off China A-Sale

June 13, 1989|From Times wire services

WASHINGTON — The Bush Administration last month approved the sale of nuclear power plant equipment to China that would have allowed backers of a canceled U.S. plant to recoup $500 million, but later rescinded the license after protests from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Two weeks after issuing an export license for the sale, the Commerce Department rescinded it after complaints from the NRC and Sen. John Glenn (D-Ohio), chairman of the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, who said the deal violated a 1985 congressional resolution on nuclear non-proliferation, officials said Monday.

The primary beneficiary of the sale would have been holders of $2.25 billion in bonds now held in trust by the Chemical Bank of New York, the officials said. The bonds were declared in default after a Washington Public Power Supply System plant near Olympia, Wash., was canceled in 1982.

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