U.S. suspends authority to ship nuclear supplies to China’s CGN

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WASHINGTON, Oct 5 (Reuters) – The U.S. nuclear energy regulator final month suspended the cargo of radioactive supplies and a hydrogen isotope utilized in reactors to China’s largest state-owned nuclear firm, CGN, reflecting Washington’s considerations in regards to the nation’s buildup of atomic weapons.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission stated within the order, dated Sept. 27, that the White House had decided that the suspension was “necessary to further the national security interests of the United States and to enhance the United States common defense and security consistent with the Atomic Energy Act of 1954.”

The suspension on the exports covers radioactive supplies and deuterium for CGN, or China General Nuclear Power Group (1816.HK), its subsidiaries or associated entities. Deuterium is a non-radioactive isotope of the factor hydrogen that’s utilized in heavy water fission reactors in nuclear energy vegetation.

The suspension additional tightens controls set in 2018 by the administration of former President Donald Trump on shipments to China of civilian nuclear know-how to stop it from getting used for army or different unauthorized functions.

CGN was positioned on a U.S. blacklist in August 2019 for allegedly making efforts to accumulate superior U.S. know-how and materials for diversion to army makes use of in China.

The Pentagon, in a report back to Congress final yr, estimated that China may at the very least double the variety of its nuclear warheads over the subsequent decade from the present stockpile “in the low 200s.”

The head of the U.S. Strategic Command, Navy Admiral Charles Richard, has warned lawmakers thisyear {that a} new technology of nuclear energy vegetation China is growing may produce giant quantities of plutonium that could possibly be used to make nuclear weapons.

China has stated its nuclear energy program is for peaceable functions.

Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by Steve Orlofsky

The logo of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is shown on the podium during a public meeting hosted by the  U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to discuss issues surrounding the decommissioning of the reactors at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in Carlsbad, California September 26, 2013.  REUTERS/Mike Blake