Russia And China Dominating the Race For Nuclear Electricity Generation.

America continues to relinquish control to Russia and China for the nuclear technology to generate continuous zero emission electricity.

Published September 25, 2023, at the Heartland Institute Russia and China Dominating the Race for Nuclear Electricity Generation – The Heartland Institute

Ronald Stein

Ronald Stein  is an engineer, senior policy advisor on energy literacy for Heartland, and co-author of the Pulitzer Prize nominated book “Clean Energy Exploitations.”

As the USA and many world leaders continue the pursuit of “unreliable electricity”, from wind turbines and solar panels, that can only generate intermittent electricity at best from available breezes and sunshine, Russia, China, France, and Finland have emerged as the leaders in nuclear power generation to achieve continuous uninterruptible, affordable, and zero emission electricity.

According to recent reports, Russia and China are currently leading the world in nuclear electricity generation which also happens to be continuous uninterruptable zero-emissions electricity.

About 60 nuclear power reactors are currently being constructed in 15 countries, notably China, India, and Russia. Together, China and Russia account for 70 percent of new nuclear plants.

The United States, which once led the way in nuclear energy, now lags with only a handful of new reactors under construction. The dominance of Russia and China is likely to continue for the foreseeable future as they invest heavily in new technology and expand their nuclear power programs.

Many of the next generation nuclear plants will require a new form of enriched uranium – called High-Assay, Low-Enriched Uranium (HALEU). Russia is currently the only country to produce HALEU which may not be comfortable for America’s national security.

Global demand for affordable, reliable, secure, and clean electricity is soaring because of rising security concerns and ambitious climate commitments. Today, both Russia and China lead the US in terms of the number of agreements with sales of their nuclear energy hardware and their services attached.

Two of America’s primary competitors for zero emission generated electricity also happen to be major geopolitical rivals: for Russia and China, nuclear exports are not just lucrative, they are an effective means of entrapment and exerting geopolitical influence. When Russian and Chinese state-owned nuclear companies export nuclear hardware and equipment, they get to set the standards on safety, security, and nonproliferation. Also, Russia and China usually structure their deals with long-term financing and nuclear fuel supply, meaning they are an avenue to cementing long-term ties and exporting their values as well.

The US was once the dominant global supplier of civil nuclear technologies, but that market position has since eroded with the emergence of new international vendors , led by Russia and China. Accordingly, America’s ability to compete in the nuclear market impacts our national security and democracy that are on the line.

While the nuclear movement continues to be led by Russia and China, the United States, through subsidies and tax incentives, continues to provide financial incentives that are aiding and abetting Communist China’s egregious exploitation of children—some as young as 6 years old and becoming more dependent on Chinas Xi Jinping’s brutal dictatorship.

America must compete to secure a myriad of national interests. At stake with this market is trade, climate, energy and national security, geopolitics, nonproliferation, and more.

The geopolitical value of nuclear trade and commerce means that Moscow and Beijing are actively involved in helping their state-owned enterprises win reactor build projects abroad.

The Russian and Chinese governments will use various diplomatic instruments—ranging from preliminary MOUs to more comprehensive cooperative agreements—to support their respective state nuclear companies in winning overseas deals.

Moscow and Beijing use collaborative R&D arrangements to familiarize partners with their respective technologies. Through these arrangements, Russia and China invite students from partner countries to train and study at domestic universities and institutes. Ultimately, these efforts can influence the decision of client states once the procurement of civil nuclear technologies begins in earnest.

Russia and China are leading in hard agreements, and their presence in international markets is growing. The data is consistent with assessments from the last several years that Russia is by far the world’s leading exporter in nuclear power plants in terms of reactors planned and under construction—Russia has hard MOUs with 45 different countries. Russia’s Grip on Nuclear-Power Trade Is Only Getting Stronger.

Even though its emergence as a global nuclear supplier has been relatively recent, even China leads the US on hard agreements with 13. China is also planning ambitious buildouts of nuclear domestically, giving it a significant industrial base for export.

Not only are many of these foreign countries ready for significant nuclear generated electricity deployment, demand for nuclear energy, is soaring globally as electricity security concerns become paramount and the imperative to decarbonize grows.

Competition in the international nuclear energy market is high politics. To rise above the competition, America would need a coherent and strategic vision to guide their policies on nuclear energy and civil nuclear exports, to compete with Russia and China.

Sadly, as America and a few other European countries continue to focus on ridding the world of fossil fuels, for just occasional electricity generated from breezes and sunshine, America is resigning from the nuclear power generation industry race and relinquishing that control to Russia and China.

Meanwhile, the lack of Energy Literacy among President Biden and his counterparts in Europe is perpetuating and reflected in these satirical John Stossel styled “give-me-a-break” comments about the lack of Energy Literacy among President Biden and his counterparts in Europe:

  • The best part of the efforts by President Biden and his counterparts in Europe to stop the use of fossil fuels is that it would ground Air Force One!!!!
  • However, it would also ground the other 50,000 jets in the world and leave the 50,000 merchant ships tied up at docks AND discontinue the 6,000 products made from oil that are supporting the 8 billion on this planet!
  • Wind and solar can only generate electricity but cannot manufacture anything for society!
  • Thus, without a replacement for the fossil fuels that provides the products supporting today’s humanity, President Biden and his counterparts are focused on jumping out of an airplane without a parachute!

The future of America is looking darker and darker, not only with its growing dependency on intermittent electricity generation from wind and solar, but also with diminishing access to the products manufactured from crude oil that support all of humanity, the infrastructures that did not exist before the discovery of oil a few centuries ago such as, the medical industry, communications, electronics, militaries, and space programs.

Ronald Stein, P.E.
Ambassador for Energy & Infrastructure
Energy Literacy website
Ronald Stein (energy consultant) Wikipedia page

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Gregory Woods
September 26, 2023 3:04 am

Energy is the lifeblood of any economy. It should be abundant, affordable, reliable and dispatchable.

Reply to  Gregory Woods
September 26, 2023 4:56 am

And when you declare a war on Carbon then the opposite becomes true.

Reply to  Gregory Woods
September 26, 2023 9:02 am

Remember when politicians actually cared about the country and wanted to do their best for the people that elected them? Yeah, me neither.

Ron Long
September 26, 2023 3:14 am

Good report by RS. Looks like the strategy of “playing to win” easily outdistances the strategy of “playing to lose.” Democracy’s need to get energetic and business-focused Presidents into place, and stop this corruption and destructive virtue-signaling. November, 2024 is an existential crossroads for the USA.

Reply to  Ron Long
September 26, 2023 3:24 am

And if the choice is between Biden and Trump, everyone loses.

Reply to  atticman
September 26, 2023 3:44 am

Ooooohh! my first-ever down vote. I’m just glad I’m not a US citizen, possibly having to make that choice. It’s bad enough in the UK with the lacklustre, indecisive bunch of politicos we’ve got currently.

Reply to  atticman
September 26, 2023 4:48 am

Your first?

Don’t tell me you are a consensus man.

I once suggested [to Charles] a bit of script to make the names of voters (up and down) visible with a mouseover….

I still think that would be interesting….

Reply to  strativarius
September 26, 2023 5:51 am

Consensus man? Hardly!

Reply to  strativarius
September 26, 2023 10:13 am

Not very libertarian

Reply to  KevinM
September 26, 2023 12:40 pm

Original comment changed

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  atticman
September 26, 2023 6:50 am

‘I’m just glad I’m not a US citizen…’


Reply to  Frank from NoVA
September 26, 2023 10:15 am

Wow we are old white right wing and prone to self parody here

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  KevinM
September 26, 2023 1:03 pm

Are you trying to make a point or are you just responding randomly with non sequiturs?

Reply to  Frank from NoVA
September 26, 2023 1:22 pm

That’s what they are for, isn’t it . 😉

Reply to  atticman
September 26, 2023 6:55 am

Trump is the anti-Biden….Trump is against almost everything Biden is for….there are no perfect candidates…no one agrees 100% with any candidate demrats would like to eliminate Trump – that tells you all you need to know….a day and night difference…glad you are not a voter.

John Oliver
Reply to  antigtiff
September 26, 2023 7:29 am

I agree. You would really have to be so saddled with bias and TDS as to chose Biden. Might as well just commit national suicide. I run a business and the Trump economy was light years ahead of this freaking disaster. And we actually had a stable geopolitical situation. If Biden puppet masters don’t destroy us economically a nuclear war will finish us all off nicely. Thanks Joe and Obama.

More Soylent Green!
Reply to  John Oliver
September 26, 2023 10:47 am

Many people just hate Trump. They believe what they see in the media. It’s hard to get people to vote for someone they personally like.

Reply to  More Soylent Green!
September 26, 2023 2:45 pm

Trump only cares about himself. He will do something for others if it benefits him, if it doesn’t benefit him forget it.

Trump stole boxes and boxes of classified materials from the White House probably to sell to some foreign power, probably Russia since Putin took an interest in him.

The GOP was once the party of law and order now their leading candidate, Trump, is facing 91 felony charges.

Reply to  scvblwxq
September 26, 2023 3:41 pm

Why are you making obvious lies here, when it was legal and known from the start that he had them.

Meanwhile not a pip from you about Bidens very illegal cache of classified material and boxes of them too in the Garage, basement and in his living room.

Your partisanship is making you foolish.

Reply to  scvblwxq
September 27, 2023 1:18 pm

Biden would do that to build up his net worth, but Trump already has several $billion, so he cannot be bought.

Reply to  antigtiff
September 26, 2023 5:12 pm

Actually, biden* is against everything Trump is for. Which is why in his first few days ,biden* reversed nearly everything Trump was doing to help the country. biden* is doing nothing but his best to dismantle our country.

Reply to  atticman
September 26, 2023 8:02 am

The sign of the vote doesn’t matter. It’s the magnitude.

  • If you get people to downvote you then they are being confronted with an idea they find difficult (unless you are factually wrong) and that is stimulating.
  • If you get people to upvote you then they are being given ideas that they can understand and agree with and that adds clarity to their thinking.

It’s the no response comments that are bad.

Reply to  MCourtney
September 26, 2023 10:17 am

Sometimes I wonder whether the name is more important than the content

Ron Long
Reply to  atticman
September 26, 2023 8:04 am

atticman, I’m also glad you’re not a US citizen.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  atticman
September 26, 2023 4:23 am

I agree- I’m hoping to see the race between 2 middle aged white men, one being DeSantis. I’ll give you a plus vote. 🙂

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
September 26, 2023 5:50 am

Much appreciated, Joseph!

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
September 26, 2023 10:18 am

Plus 1 for honesty

More Soylent Green!
Reply to  atticman
September 26, 2023 9:05 am

Insomuch as a large portion of voters find Trump unsuitable, yes, everybody loses.

  • Trump’s only hope to win in November 2024 is if Biden or Harris is his opponent
  • Biden’s only hope to win reelection is if Trump is his opponent

It’s awfully early to make prediction, but Trump has done little to redeem himself. Independents and women do not like him. Many people find him personally unsuitable for office.

Trump had some great policies, a great economy and was rebuilding our military. I want the return of MAGA. I don’t want the return of Trump.

John Hultquist
Reply to  atticman
September 26, 2023 9:50 am

I’d like to see a ticket with Nikki Haley and one of these – DeSantis, Burgum, Youngkin (governors), Tim Scott, Kristi Noem, or Ramaswamy.

Reply to  atticman
September 26, 2023 3:38 pm

The choice was obviously Trump who increased Coal production and NG under his watch, Biden is tearing them down with illegal decisions, obstruction and stupidly against oil production which declined.

September 26, 2023 3:23 am

As far as I can see, climate/energy will be where we come crashing down.

“Labour and the Conservatives have always been aware that, as the 2050 deadline nears, they would have to adopt increasingly punitive climate policies. And they’ve always known these would heap enormous costs on to households. So it was beneficial for both parties to sweep the costs of Net Zero under the carpet for as long as possible. But now Sunak has broken this entente. “

Interestingly, the ever so modest change of tack on Net Zero has given Sunak a bit of a boost in the polls. The Uxbridge effect?

“The UK’s governing Conservative Party clawed back a third of their polling deficit behind the Labour opposition after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he would scale back the government’s green agenda to save Britons money.”

Unless an asteroid or comet intervenes it seems we will end up with empty suit Starmer at the helm.

“Labour will “double down” on making the case that tackling the cost of living crisis and the climate crisis can only be done in tandem, despite an intensifying Conservative attack on net zero policies, the Guardian has learned. Labour will argue that seeking green growth is the way to bring down household bills and secure the future of the UK economy.

The party believes that Rishi Sunak’s dramatic U-turns last week on key net zero policies reveals a weakness in his strategy, in a lack of vision for future economic growth, and by adding to the cost of living for people on low incomes.

Ed Miliband, shadow secretary of state for energy security and net zero, told the Guardian: “Rishi Sunak is a man bankrupt of ideas who has shown this week he neither has answers to the cost of living crisis nor the climate crisis. His announcements will put up costs for working people, threaten investment and jobs, and lead to climate delay, loading more costs on to families.”

Remember Copenhagen and a certain email dump?
 “This is scientific consensus from around the world. It’s as universal a view as you can get. One chain of emails does not undo scientific consensus.” – Secretary of State for Climate Change, Ed Miliband, 2009

China can do pretty much as it wants while it watches the woke west disappear up its own fundament.

Reply to  strativarius
September 26, 2023 3:49 am

Would the taxation of protein violate human rights, I wonder?

Reply to  atticman
September 26, 2023 4:04 am

Funnily enough, Tax is an oncoprotein….

“A novel positive feedback-loop between the HTLV-1 oncoprotein Tax and NF-κB activity in T-cells”

Reply to  strativarius
September 26, 2023 4:35 am

Income taxes especially makes me ill with property taxes being a real pain.

Reply to  Scissor
September 26, 2023 4:39 am

They’ve added parking charges to make your eyes water along with the property taxes here and it’s only going to get worse….

At least 26 English councils ‘at risk of bankruptcy… 

Reply to  strativarius
September 26, 2023 7:03 am

I noticed that too. Government begins charging for parking where there used to be plenty of free parking, then private businesses, like hotels in the vicinity, decide they can get in on it also. It’s not so much inflation in this case as it is having to pay for more largesse to the government.

Reply to  strativarius
September 26, 2023 10:26 am

Other people’s money?

Reply to  atticman
September 26, 2023 10:24 am

Would punish bodybuilders

Reply to  strativarius
September 26, 2023 9:46 am

Getting rid of net zero would be a dramatic u-turn. Slowing it down by a couple of years is not.

Reply to  strativarius
September 26, 2023 10:23 am

Comment touches the ideas that climate change has no winners and that people living longer lives has no losers if those ideas have crept into the readers thinking.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  strativarius
September 27, 2023 6:24 am

Labour’s plan to have all electricity generated by unreliables by 2030 is impossible, although Miliband will still be saying on 31st December 2029 that it is going to happen.

Even if they could build all the unreliable generation necessary they still need to connect it to the grid and National Grid have long been saying that it can take up to 15 years for the projects ALREADY in the pipeline to be connected to the grid.

Cue politicians starting to talk about changing planning approvals and riding roughshod over local objections. They know what’s best for you!

September 26, 2023 5:33 am

I don’t think there is a race to install nuclear. There are simply numerous road blocks and hurdles put in its way to insure its not worth making the trip in the west.

If you are talking about China, Russia and energy, the Ukraine war is going to fundamentally change energy flows around the world. The cheapest way to deliver natural gas is via pipeline. LNG, while commercially viable, will always have extra costs associated with liquifying it then re-expanding it, but the biggest cost is that LNG is a worldwide commodity and commands a higher price than the regionally delivered natural gas via pipelines.

Before the Ukraine war, China received only about 1/4 the amount of natural gas from Russia that the EU did. When the EU boycotted Russian gas, it founds its way through other countries, primarily in Asia to other markets. At the same time, Russia and China started expanding the network of pipelines to deliver natural gas directly to China without liquification. This will bring abundant clean, low cost, low carbon emitting source of energy to China. The EU created a facade of an energy transition because they got lots of Russian gas. Can you image what that energy source will do for China?

Gary Pearse
September 26, 2023 5:40 am

“…and exporting their values as well.”

If we don’t get rid of the wokey destruction of the family, civilization, Age of Reason, The Scientific Method, Social Evil of the WEF, UN, corrupted Western Institutions, De-education…. I don’t see a market for ‘Our Values’ either.

A “low energy” RINO replacement in the Whitehouse won’t bring the Manhattan-Project-sized effort to slay this monster.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Gary Pearse
September 26, 2023 5:50 am

Did you see the old Waffen SS “hero” receiving a standing ovation and a Hitleren salute in the Canadian Parliament on Friday?

How’s that for “Values”.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
September 26, 2023 7:10 am

One thing for sure, Trudeau’s band will never ask, “Are we the baddies?”

Reply to  Gary Pearse
September 26, 2023 8:08 am

Come on.
That was stupidity, not malice.
They didn’t know he was a Nazi.

Reply to  MCourtney
September 26, 2023 2:06 pm

It was incompetence. They should have known. That’s why they have hundreds of fart-catchers supposedly checking the background of whom they invite. This is far from the first time. During Trudeau’s India trip in 2017, they inadvertently invited a known would-be assassin of an Indian Minister to a Canadian government official reception.

This is what you get when you have a stupid narcisist as Prime Minister and a a very bad handler who actually runs the government.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
September 26, 2023 10:30 am

Yes, when on hears “our values” one must now ask “us who?” And “which ones?”

September 26, 2023 6:15 am

And do any of you understand why this is happening? Because in China and Russia idiots who bring frivolous lawsuits over climatard sh*tspew are thrown in prison and worked to death. Only takes a few and the climatards shut up and crawl back under their rock.

Steve Richards
September 26, 2023 6:22 am

Whose idea was it to build reactors when they did not have an assured fuel supply?

Reply to  Steve Richards
September 26, 2023 2:07 pm

What gave you that idea? Uranium fuel is readily available.

September 26, 2023 6:43 am

Nuclear power is the most government subsidized, yet still most expensive form of energy (maybe excepting gas peakers)

This source of energy is most suitable for promotion by dictatorships, e.g. Russia and China, so why, on stricly economic criteria, do WUWT readers seem to love it so much.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Tonyx
September 26, 2023 7:27 am

‘This source of energy is most suitable for promotion by dictatorships…’

Well, then, it should work really well in the US, no? My point is, that when people eschew governing themselves in favor of being ruled over by a State, everything becomes subsidized.

John Oliver
Reply to  Tonyx
September 26, 2023 7:48 am

Depends on how you calculate it. In a world with rapidly increasing demand for a limited supply of fossil fuel( which you need for some processes- besides transport) nuclear wins in the long run.

Reply to  Tonyx
September 26, 2023 12:47 pm

If you want an honest answer don’t start by throwing rocks at people who might tell you the answer

Reply to  Tonyx
September 26, 2023 2:56 pm

The cost of net zero by 2050 is $US200 Trillion. The poor countries and households can’t afford to pay so that leaves it up to the developed countries to pay for it. If you figure 90% of households in the world can’t afford to pay anything it will by about $1 million per household or about $33,000 per year for about 30 years for households in developed countries Even most working families in developed countries can’t afford that. The millionaires and billionaires have $US 208 Trillion in wealth, a 95% wealth tax would cover it. But that will never happen. Net Zero is an unaffordable pipe-dream.

Mr Ed
September 26, 2023 7:06 am

I remember the failed nuclear power plants in Washington state back in the 70’s. The
WPPSS group aka whooops! $6+billion boondoggle. IMO if so called carbon free
electrical power is what’s needed we need to design and build smaller reactors of the same
design and install them in hardened facilities, not as we have done in past with every reactor
being of a different design which pushes up the costs massively.

I also remember the cleanup of a couple of reactors in that area in the same era. One of
the leading players went on to run Sequoyah Fuels. The greens hate nukes..and won’t
like that trend but I see it happening if the country continues as a functioning unit which
seems to be a heavy lift these days.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Mr Ed
September 26, 2023 9:40 am

If I remember correctly, the WPPSS fiasco was a perfect storm of anti-nuke zealotry and bad economics due to the fact that hydropower in the Pacific NW was frequently so cheap back then that wholesale prices often didn’t cover the cost of replacing worn bearings on the turbines.

Mr Ed
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
September 26, 2023 10:44 am

IIRC 2 of those plants were finished and ready to go online but were demolished
before they were fired up and put in use…
The coal fired acid rain deal was going on at the same time also. My view is if we
need to go this way we should follow the navy nuclear propulsion system and make
this modular so if there is a design issue it can be corrected throughout the entire
system. The current nuclear plant system is as if each plant is trying to outdo the others in
size, design scale ect. The need to get a design that can be scaled up and deployed
as such and benefit from mass production.

Kit P
Reply to  Mr Ed
September 26, 2023 12:49 pm

If WPPSS was ever good at anything I do not know what it was.

I worked for them, they thought they were good so there was reason to listen to anyone on now to improve.

JFK cut the ribbon on the DOE N reactor which was a weapons material producing reactor. The steam produced was used by WPPSS to make electricity.

Remember how that turned out for the USSR.

At one time, 60 reactors were planned in Washington State based on projections for demand. So with no experience building steam plants, WPPSS started 5 reactors none of which would be needed.

On top of that, we went from a period of low inflation and interest rates to high.

Also regulations increased. That did add to cost because of delays. Before working for WPPSS I worked at several other BWRs. If you can not figure out
regulation, you should not be running a nuke plant.

That was many years ago. The one plant that made it on line is now a valuable asset that should run for 60 years.

Reply to  Kit P
September 26, 2023 2:11 pm

Trojan was shut down permanently in 1993. it was completely dismantled by 2005.

Reply to  cgh
September 26, 2023 3:45 pm

There is a partly completed nuclear plant (67%) in mothball which could be completed using THORIUM instead which would be simpler and cheaper to produce power.

Kit P
Reply to  cgh
September 27, 2023 9:41 am

Trojan was a PWR. To extend the life to 60 years of s PWR steam generators have to be replaced. In some plants this required cutting a big ass hole in the roof of the containment building.

New PWRs are designed for 60 years with an equipment hatch to replace them.

I am still waiting for the first solar thermal plant to work right.

Modern nuke plants often run breaker to breaker at rated power. The learning curve is over.

Mr Ed
Reply to  Kit P
September 26, 2023 6:24 pm

Thanks for that good info. It’s been many years but there was also something about the
bonds involved with the finance end. A neighbor’s son was a nuclear physicist
that worked on the weapons unit clean up at one point. He was pretty tight lipped
on that proect.

Kit P
Reply to  Mr Ed
September 27, 2023 9:02 am

DOE goal is to spend budgeted tax payer money. There is no penalty for not getting the job done.

Commercial power producers have to compete.

WPPSS was and is a small public power producer based in a city with an economy that is 90% federal government handouts.

There is a huge difference between being good at spending boatloads of goverment cash and running a nuke plant.

Back when it was WNP-2, the board said one more year of poor performance and the plant would be closed and along with the jobs.

More than one nuke had this issue. I was at one that closed. Also at 5 that got their acts together.

Reply to  Mr Ed
September 27, 2023 1:23 pm

The power plant did no fail
It was financing it with municipal bonds at 15% that doomed the project

How do I know this?

I worked for the engineering/construction firm that designed the project.
My boss had been a project engineer on the project

John Oliver
September 26, 2023 7:55 am

The situation the western nations have put themselves in is going to be a challenge for anybody to fix now. We really need individuals that have the courage mindset and never give up mentality like Trump. “Normal” people are not cut out for challenges like that. Despite all his flaws Trump is the kinda of personality for this task. But we also have some pretty good guys on the bench- but they hav’nt been tested in the crucible.

John Hultquist
September 26, 2023 10:02 am

Ronald Stein’s essay is another (of many recent) condemnation of the dysfunctional US government. Well done.
I would not have included the “satirical John Stossel” comments as they are like one-liners in a Rodney Dangerfield skit. They provide a quick chuckle but are substantively lacking.

September 26, 2023 10:10 am

“As the USA and many world leaders continue the pursuit of … wind turbines and solar panels … Russia, China, France, and Finland have emerged as the leaders in nuclear power generation ….”

Only scary if the technology is being developed by others. If “pursue” means “buy stuff designed in USA but maybe made elsewhere” then okay. Words for invent, design, build, buy and install are used as synonyms throughout. Gives a reader the impression they’re being sold something.

Kit P
Reply to  KevinM
September 26, 2023 10:49 am

You are correct. The US shared the peaceful use of nuclear energy through the Atoms for peace program. If it looks like China is building ’70s Westinghouse reactors it is because they were built in China by France.

That is a good thing too.

September 26, 2023 10:19 am

The United States could resurrect its nuclear industry by exploiting the Molten Salt Reactor based on Thorium, after all they invented it (Alvin Weinberg and others). But alas the US is weak and growing weaker though a lack of its grasp on reality. The rest of the world will leave the west behind.

Kit P
Reply to  Sheridb
September 26, 2023 11:15 am

The US is weak because we are not using thorium?

Maybe you should find a different parameter. The US has nuclear powered super carriers that project power around the world everyday.

China has never in history projected power. Their so called blue water navy has a range of 1000 miles which is a huge advance for them. They are building missiles to sink the US Navy. But to what end? The oil they need for the ships can not get to China without the US Navy. China should also remember that Japan was able to project power with a navy.

It is true many countries are not as weak as they once were but most are allies with the US. Japan and South Korea for example. We are not being left behind but are pulling other countries ahead with us.

Reply to  Kit P
September 26, 2023 3:39 pm

China is projecting power by buying U.S. Congress members and Chamber of Commerce members, and getting their way non-kinetically. The are using Sun Tzu to the nth degree, not just military power.

Reply to  Kit P
September 26, 2023 3:48 pm

China borders Russia and they have been getting record amounts of oil from them this year.


Reply to  Kit P
September 27, 2023 1:25 pm

Russia and China are not using thorium, and they are strong, have about 70% of a growing world market

Kit P
September 26, 2023 10:27 am

According to recent reports, Russia and China are currently leading the world in nuclear electricity generation …

Time for a fact check:

By far the largest nuclear electricity producers are the United States with 772,221 GWh of nuclear electricity in 2022, followed by China with 395,354 GWh.[1] 

So even second place is not close.

When I started in nuclear power the US was the leader in building new nukes, now we are the leader in keeping old nukes running. The cheapest generating cost for steam plants is paid off nuke plants.

Then there are nuke powered air craft carriers. Without them, China only has nukes to provide power. China is the most dependent county on the US navy for energy.

What do you call an American who makes claims about China dominating the US.

Pond scum!

September 26, 2023 11:11 am

Question: Would any sane person buy a used car, much less a new nuclear power plant, from either of the two individuals pictured in the top-most photo above?

Caveat emptor.

Kit P
Reply to  ToldYouSo
September 26, 2023 11:36 am

If the car was built by Toyota in China or Russia I might consider it.

If the power plant is built to US codes and standards it should be fine.

The last nuke plants I worked at were in China. The reactor vessels were forged In Japan for US plants that did not get built because of cheap shale gas.

Of course if my country needed nuke power plants, artillery, or tanks with as good recent history, I would shopping in South Korea.

John Oliver
Reply to  Kit P
September 26, 2023 12:21 pm

So what’s the bottom line what should be our major policy’s going forward ( from US perspective)

Kit P
Reply to  John Oliver
September 26, 2023 5:47 pm

The US is now the leading exporter LNG. A forward looking policy would be bringing one or two new nukes on line each year so we could maintain our exports of LNG.

Just like we over estimated how many nukes we needed, I think China has done the same.

Reply to  Kit P
September 26, 2023 2:16 pm

Quite right. The last commercial NPP built and delivered in the world was the four-unit Barakkah NPP in UAE, done by KEPCO and Doosan Heavy Industries. It was completed under budget and ahead of schedule.

Reply to  cgh
September 26, 2023 3:53 pm

Hmmm . . . didn’t know the UAE was running out of fossil fuels and was switching over to nukes.

These are interesting times, to say the least.

Kit P
Reply to  ToldYouSo
September 26, 2023 5:05 pm

UAE is not running out but they can now export more LNG.

It looks to me like UAE has figured out to do net zero. Talk about solar build nukes.

Land of the Lost
September 26, 2023 4:21 pm

WPPSS in Washington would have been fine if they had built the 5 planned nuclear plants in succession rather than all at once. They would have completed two, the Columbia Generating station (BWR) running today and a PWR on the west side of the state. Had the second plant been completed, it would have ostensibly preempted the need for the huge wind/solar farm being forced on the residents of Benton County by the state.

Kit P
Reply to  Land of the Lost
September 26, 2023 5:26 pm

I spoke in favor of the WPPSS wind farm at a public meeting before it was built. The state of Washington does not run WPPSS. If it did there would shut down the Columbia Generating Station.

For readers in other places, there is west side verses the east side thing going on in the PNW. Big cities elect the governor on the west side of the Cascade Mt.

In the less populated east side, we make a living by producing food and energy.

The purpose of wind the PNW is to suck money out of Califonia. Got to love it.

September 26, 2023 4:34 pm

How much dumber can we get, getting whooped by a couple of sorry pretenders like these two. Anything they can do we can do way better. This is a sorry state of affairs and we have no one to blame but ourselves. It is really stupid.

September 26, 2023 4:52 pm

But does anyone really want a Russian reactor? Chernobyl wasn’t exactly the poster child for Russian reactor technology. Just sayin’…

Kit P
Reply to  stinkerp
September 27, 2023 8:34 am

Yes was the obvious answer. Russia is building LWR like everyone for electric power. But it is like getting Germany depending on cheap natural gas from Putin.

Nuclear power is a 60 year choice. Getting 99% done is very expensive.

September 26, 2023 6:38 pm

South Korea is winning more and more orders in Central Europe and Middle East as countries try to avoid Russia.

Beta Blocker
September 27, 2023 10:53 am

Here in the US, we have another problem developing with the 21st Century Nuclear Renaissance, Version 2.0 — lack of a sufficient and reliable supply of HALEU nuclear fuel for the oncoming advanced reactor designs.

Today’s conventional nuclear power plants generally use low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel, enriched up to around 4-5% of the uranium isotope, U-235.

The majority of the oncoming advanced reactor designs — for example, TerraPower, X-energy, Oklo, and Kairos Power — use high-assay low enriched uranium fuel (HALEU).  HALEU is uranium fuel that is enriched to higher levels than LEU, up to 20% U-235.

The higher concentration of fissile U-235 allows fuel assemblies and reactors to be smaller, the reactors don’t need to be refueled as often, and the volume of nuclear waste being generated is also reduced.

Background and Policy Issues – HALEU Fuel Supply

Russia was the major supplier of HALEU nuclear fuel to the United States up until the Russia-Ukraine war. The Russian supply of HALEU is now cut off. 

HALEU is available from only one supplier in the US, Centrus, and the volume this one supplier can produce doesn’t come close to fulfilling projected future demand, assuming that all these advanced reactors will come on line by 2030 or soon thereafter.  

Private investors will not spend the large sums of money needed to greatly expand US production of HALEU unless a guaranteed market for this fuel type exists. The investment risk is just too large.

The other issue is that if Russia is allowed to reeneter the HALEU supply chain at some point in the future, the Russian price advantage will force US competitors out of the market.

The only pathway for guaranteeing a US expansion of the HALEU fuel supply is for the US Government to commit to buying that portion of targeted future production which isn’t being consumed by the oncoming new-build advanced reactors.

Congress and the Biden administration have generally supported an expansion of nuclear power; but as of yet, have not gone as far as committing to government purchase of excess supplies of HALEU fuel, should an excess of future supply develop.

Unlike the TerraPower, X-energy (etc. etc.) reactor designs, the NuScale and the Last Energy SMR designs use conventional LEU fuel and are not affected in the short term by uncertainties in their supply of nuclear fuel. 

The uncertainty of the future supply of HALEU fuel is yet one more reason why I think the NuScale SMR design will be the first to go live in the US, and that the Last Energy SMR design will be the first to go live in Europe.

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