UGA profs call for coalition of civilian nuclear partners

January 6, 2021, 11:59AMANS Nuclear Cafe

The rising influence of Russia and China in the development, construction, and deployment of civilian nuclear reactors around the globe raises significant geopolitical challenges for the United States, according to “Twenty-First Century U.S. Nuclear Power: A National Security Imperative,” a recent paper by two University of Georgia (UGA) researchers.

The paper: The 22-page paper was published in Strategic Studies Quarterly, a peer-reviewed academic journal sponsored by the U.S. Air Force covering issues related to national and international security.

The authors—David Gattie, an associate professor in the UGA College of Engineering, and Joshua Massey, director of the Master of International Policy program in UGA’s School of Public and International Affairs—contend that if the United States retreats from the civilian nuclear field, China and Russia will become the global leaders in nuclear science, nuclear engineering, and nuclear technology, with adverse implications for U.S. national security.

The solution: To address the growing influence of China and Russia in the nuclear power sphere, Gattie and Massey recommend that the United States unite with its allies—including Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, France, South Korea, and Japan—in a new coalition of civilian nuclear power partners. “This coalition,” they said, “must be capable of competing with China and Russia in the deployment of nuclear technology, fuel, and services in emerging economies where energy demand is increasing rapidly and countries are seeking partnerships.”

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