NewsAmerica lags 15 years behind China in nuclear energy race

America lags 15 years behind China in nuclear energy race

The United States is 15 years behind China in the development of advanced nuclear energy technology.
The United States is 15 years behind China in the development of advanced nuclear energy technology.
Images source: © PAP | XINHUA / LI XUEREN

7:11 PM EDT, June 17, 2024

According to a report published Monday by the American Research Institute Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), the United States is 15 years behind China in developing advanced nuclear energy technology.

China is constructing 27 nuclear reactors, with an average construction time of about seven years, significantly shorter than in other countries.

No nuclear reactors are being built in the USA currently. The last two large nuclear power plants were commissioned in 2023 and 2024 in the state of Georgia. These investments faced years of delays, and their final cost exceeded the original budget by billions of dollars.

The USA has the most nuclear power plants in the world. President Joe Biden and his administration consider this virtually zero-emissions energy source crucial for limiting climate change.

According to experts, Chinese state banks offer loans with an interest rate of only 1.4 percent, significantly lower than in Western economies. Chinese nuclear energy benefits from consistent state support, which has allowed it to dominate the global renewable energy sector and electric vehicle production.

The world's first fourth-generation high-temperature gas-cooled reactor was launched in December 2023 at the Shidao Bay nuclear power plant in Shandong province in eastern China. The China Nuclear Energy Association reported that this reactor was built with 93.4 percent domestically sourced materials.

The USA needs a nuclear energy strategy

The report's author, Stephen Ezell, said that if the USA takes nuclear energy seriously, it should develop a robust national strategy.

The US Department of Energy did not comment on the report.

According to the US government agency, the Energy Information Administration (EIA), there are currently 54 commercial nuclear power plants with 94 reactors in 28 states. In China, there are 23 nuclear power plants with 55 reactors.

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