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Pentagon fake news about Chinese fast breeder reactors

Assistant Secretary of Defense John Plumb knew better when characterizing Russia-China reactor cooperation as a nuclear weapon threat


The US Department of Defense and numerous private commentators allege that Russian-Chinese cooperation on fast breeder reactors will provide plutonium for large numbers of Chinese nuclear weapons. Assistant Secretary of Defense John Plumb told Congressional hearings on March 8:

“It’s very troubling to see Russia and China cooperating on this. They may have talking points around it, but there’s no getting around the fact that breeder reactors are plutonium, and plutonium is for weapons. So I think the [Defense] Department is concerned. And of course, it matches our concerns about China’s increased expansion of its nuclear forces as well, because you need more plutonium for more weapons.”

The Pentagon knows better than this. Anyone conversant with fast breeder reactor technology is aware that the type of plutonium that can be produced in such reactors is much less suitable for nuclear weapons than the plutonium produced in other reactor types, whose design and construction China has long mastered.

It is therefore nonsensical to charge that the main goal of the Chinese fast breeder program is weapons-related. Rather, the motivation for the program is consistent with that of other nations that have pursued fast breeder reactor designs, including greater efficiency in the utilization of nuclear fuel, reduction in the amount and toxicity of nuclear waste and greater independence from outside fuel supplies.

Here are the details, point by point. They speak for themselves:………………………………………………………………………………… more


April 5, 2023 - Posted by | - plutonium, spinbuster, USA

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