nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

U.S. nuclear lobby wants to sell advanced nuclear technology to China, on the spurious claims of ”safety” and ”advancing climate action”

Nuclear Advocates Urge Biden, Congress To Reverse Trump Policy, Open China To U.S. Nuclear, Forbes, Dipka Bhambhani 9 July 21

A growing chorus of nuclear energy stakeholders is asking the Biden administration and Congress to reverse course and open up the Chinese market to U.S. nuclear energy companies in the name of safety and climate change.

At issue: a pair of Senate and House bills—S. 1260, the Endless Frontiers Act, and H.R. 3524, Ensuring American Global Leadership and Engagement Act—both of which effectively end bilateral cooperation with China on civil nuclear projects.

China’s unique policy allows it to share nuclear technology between its civil and military sector

A growing chorus of nuclear energy stakeholders is asking the Biden administration and Congress to reverse course and open up the Chinese market to U.S. nuclear energy companies in the name of safety and climate change.

President Biden is continuing former President Trump’s 2018 nuclear energy policy restricting U.S. nuclear energy companies from exporting to, or developing nuclear energy technology with, China.

Some say restricting American nuclear energy companies from the Chinese market threatens global nuclear energy safety, undermines global climate change efforts to reduce emissions worldwide, and reflects an incongruent trade policy.

Meanwhile Congress is preparing to codify that Trump policy.

In a memo obtained by Forbes, the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) told stakeholders, “Growing anti-China sentiment in Congress has put U.S.-China nuclear cooperation in increasing jeopardy. Cutting off cooperation is of great concern to the entire U.S. nuclear industry because of the potential harm to global nuclear safety cooperation and the U.S. supply base.”

NEI predominately represents U.S. nuclear power plant owners and operators but its membership also includes reactor developers and other companies across the supply chain, universities, research labs, law firms, labor unions and international electric utilities.

At issue: a pair of Senate and House bills—S. 1260, the Endless Frontiers Act, and H.R. 3524, Ensuring American Global Leadership and Engagement Act—both of which effectively end bilateral cooperation with China on civil nuclear projects.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee could advance H.R. 3524 as early as this month, which could include more restrictive measures in the form of amendments.

At stake: a global nuclear construction marketplace expected to be $5 trillion by 2050.

ANS represents more than 10,000 professionals in nuclear science and technology.

Piercy said locking U.S. companies out of the Chinese market threatens operational safety of nuclear power plants in China and those built by China around the world. And it reduces U.S. influence.

“We want to make sure that we have the ability to influence international safety norms and understand what is happening in global markets,” Piercy told Forbes.

The global Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty already allows the U.S. nuclear energy industry to work freely to share its technology. Though China’s unique policy allows it to share nuclear technology between its civil and military sector, there is a way to protect U.S. commercial interests, Piercy said.

“Can we conduct commerce without giving away the U.S. crown jewels in this area?” Piercy said. “The answer is yes. We do not have to pick up our ball and go home because we’re afraid that we’re going to get taken.”

Intellectual property protection, keeping U.S. technology from being copied unfairly, are all possible while working in and with China, he said.

According to a recent Forbes article on nuclear energy, 96 nuclear reactors have been connected to the grid in 13 countries over the past 20 years. Of these, 45 were constructed in China.

The U.S. has an opportunity “to steer the way the global renaissance unfolds,” Piercy said. “It’s going to happen, whether the U.S. participates in it or not.”

According to the U.S.-China Business Council, a nonprofit nonpartisan group that represents 200 companies that do business with China, sales of nuclear energy technology have totaled about $170 million before 2018, a number they said was “not significant,” when then-President Trump restricted newer U.S. nuclear technology from export. Technology export is now limited to replacement parts for older reactors. But China needs smaller reactors that can float or power ships, the group said.

For new technology export, American companies could request a waiver from the U.S. Commerce Department, but there is a presumption of denial, so no U.S. nuclear energy companies, including Bill Gates’ TerraPower, were allowed into the Chinese market.

TerraPower, which had announced in 2017 it would build a test reactor south of Beijing with China National Nuclear Corp. (CNNC), had to pivot once Trump announced his policy.

Sources close to the deal say Gates was furious and petitioned DOE. There was some consolation for the company.

Forbes reported in December that the U.S. Department of Energy awarded TerraPower $80 million to build advanced reactors that could be used in the U.S. and overseas.

Trump’s then Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy, Dr. Rita Baranwal, also awarded TerraPower and GE-Hitachi $80 million to demonstrate their unique Natrium reactors, sodium-cooled fast reactors, in Wyoming in a partnership with PacifiCorp, in lieu of its deal with Beijing’s CNNC.

The funding came from DOE’s $230 million Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program which Baranwal launched last Fall………………….

Biden is continuing to allow the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation to grant loans for nuclear power projects abroad, another Trump administration policy to expand the use of U.S. nuclear technology in the developing world.

And that declaration that climate change is a matter of national security invites the Defense Department, the intelligence community, and others into the conversation, said Retired Rear Admiral Michael Hewitt, CEO of Allied Nuclear and its parent IP3.

“It opens up the aperture to the conversation of nuclear power through the lens of climate change and national security that was missing before,” Hewitt said.

Allied Nuclear is a U.S.-based global nuclear energy adviser, a start-up that helps foreign governments procure nuclear technology from American and commercially driven international companies, tailors financing and helps countries start nuclear energy programs……..

Biden’s Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told NEI in June at its Nuclear Energy Assembly that nuclear energy must be used to meet U.S. climate goals. She asked the President for $1.85 billion in his Fiscal 2022 budget for nuclear energy, a 23% increase over the previous year.

While Granholm told World Nuclear News that nuclear is essential for the U.S. to reduce carbon emissions 52% by the end of 2030, she fell short of addressing how U.S. nuclear technology could help the rest of the world do so……………..

Not everyone is in agreement on how open China should be to U.S. companies……… https://www.forbes.com/sites/dipkabhambhani/2021/07/09/nuclear-advocates-urge-biden-congress-to-reverse-trump-policy-open-china-to-us-nuclear/?sh=370a04c02bc4,

July 10, 2021 - Posted by | politics, USA

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: