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The political sparks from allegations that China has stolen U.S. nuclear secrets now threaten to singe international scientific exchanges. Last week Republican lawmakers called for a moratorium on exchange programs that bring thousands of foreign researchers from "sensitive" nations to Department of Energy (DOE) laboratories. DOE officials say such a policy would disrupt efforts to improve nuclear safety in Russia and do little for security. But some researchers fear the flap could smother international cooperation and undermine the labs' efforts to recruit the best foreign-born scientists.