The US is 15 years behind China in developing nuclear power

Nuclear power plant / Photo: Profimedia

The US lags 15 years behind China in developing high-tech nuclear power as state-backed technology access and heavy financing give Beijing an advantage, according to a new report released today. Reuters.

China has 27 nuclear reactors under construction with an average construction time of about seven years, much faster than other countries, according to a study by Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, an independent research institute based in Washington.

"The rapid deployment of increasingly modern nuclear power plants in China indicates that Chinese companies will have an advantage in incremental innovation in this sector in the future," the report said.

The United States has the largest number of nuclear power plants in the world, and the administration of President Joe Biden believes that this source of almost emission-free electricity is key to the fight against climate change.

After two large power plants in the state of Georgia were turned on in 2023 and 2024 with billions of dollars in the budget and years of delay, the construction of nuclear reactors in the United States has stopped. The construction of a high-tech power plant was canceled last year.

China's state-owned banks can offer more favorable loans than those available in Western economies. China's nuclear industry has benefited from sustained government support and localization strategies that have enabled it to dominate sectors such as renewable energy and electric vehicles.

The world's first so-called fourth-generation high-temperature gas-cooled reactor at Shidao Bay was announced online last December. The China Nuclear Energy Association claims the project involved the development of more than 2.200 pieces of equipment that are the first of their kind in the world, with an overall localization rate of domestically produced materials of 93,4 percent.

Proponents of high-tech reactors say they are safer and more efficient than current ones. Critics say some new reactors lead to nuclear proliferation and material risks.

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