The Trump administration is preparing a new push to help American companies compete in the race to build the next generation of nuclear power plants around the world — a competition the U.S. is currently losing.
In doing so, the administration also aims to push back on the growing dominance of Russia and China in the space, preventing them from expanding their international influence by forging long-lasting nuclear ties with foreign powers.
The State Department plans to expand cooperation with countries pursuing atomic energy long before those nations ever purchase a nuclear reactor. By facilitating early stage talks, the U.S. intends to put American companies first in line to build tomorrow’s fleet of nuclear power plants overseas.
To be sure, the Energy and Commerce departments actively facilitate U.S. nuclear cooperation with their foreign counterparts. But the State Department now intends to push the issue in talks at the highest levels of government, making it clear that Washington believes cooperation in the nuclear realm is central to its strategic relationships.
But even with the State Department lending its diplomatic heft, winning nuclear energy contracts won’t be easy. Russia and China are aggressively pursuing those deals at a time when the U.S. has struggled to build reactors at home and no longer enriches uranium to fuel those facilities.
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