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The U.S. is losing the nuclear energy race to Russia and China

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Forbes or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: The U.S. remains reliant on Russian enriched uranium imports despite being the world's leading nuclear energy producer. This dependence is attributed to the neglect of the U.S. civilian nuclear infrastructure since the 1970s
Meanwhile, Russia and China are advancing in nuclear technology, with China planning to overtake the U.S. in nuclear power plants by 2030

🔭 The context: The U.S. nuclear industry has stagnated for over 30 years, while Russia and China have made significant strides in nuclear technology and reactor exports
The U.S. political landscape has been hesitant to pursue nuclear energy development due to historical incidents, regulatory complexities, and high costs, despite nuclear power's green credentials and safety record.

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The global shift towards cleaner energy sources to combat climate change underscores the importance of nuclear energy, known for zero CO2 emissions
The U.S.'s lag in nuclear technology and reliance on Russian uranium impacts the country's ability to effectively contribute to global green energy efforts.

⏭️ What's next: The U.S. is showing signs of re-embracing nuclear power, with the Biden administration allocating funds to support the industry
However, overcoming regulatory hurdles, investing in new technologies like Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), and developing domestic uranium enrichment capabilities are critical for the U.S. to maintain its nuclear edge and meet green energy goals.

💬 One quote: “A generation of Americans were scared by Three Mile Island, and the nuclear industry became a political and environmental target,” said Jack Edlow of Edlow International.

📈 One stat: The U.S. has 93 operational nuclear power plants, with an average age of 40 years, compared to China's plan to build 24 new plants by 2030, totaling 60.

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