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U.S. govt disregards nuclear diseconomics, pushes new nuclear power to support nuclear weapons

On April 23 the strongly pro-nuclear results of the Nuclear Fuel Working Group (NFWG) were made public by the US Department of Energy (DoE)

Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette announced the NFWG’s results and urged:

  • Taking immediate and bold action to strengthen the uranium mining and conversion industries and restore the viability of the entire front-end of the nuclear fuel cycle.
    •    Utilizing American technological innovation and advanced nuclear RD&D investments to consolidate technical advances and strengthen American leadership in the next generation of nuclear energy technologies.
    •    Ensuring that there will be a healthy and growing nuclear energy sector to which uranium miners, fuel cycle providers, and reactor vendors can sell their products and services.
    •    Taking a whole-of-government approach to supporting the U.S. nuclear energy industry in exporting civil nuclear technology in competition with state-owned enterprises.”

Brouillette’s announcement also undermines the long-cultivated narrative that ‘peaceful / civil use’ and military application of nuclear power would be separate – instead, it explicitly references the connection between the civil and military nuclear sectors:

“The United States currently has two well-defined future defense needs for domestic uranium supply: low-enriched uranium needed to produce tritium required for nuclear weapons in the 2040s, and highly-enriched uranium needed to fuel Navy nuclear reactors in the 2050s.
The Strategy also recognizes that U.S. national security is truly integrated with the health of the front-end of the nuclear fuel cycle – the United States needs a strong civil nuclear industry to enable national defense.” (underlining not in the original)

US DoE at the same date published a NFWG Factsheet:  Strategy to Restore American Nuclear Energy Leadership


April 28, 2020 - Posted by | business and costs, politics, politics international, weapons and war

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