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China Surges Ahead in High-Tech Nuclear Power, Leaving US 15 Years Behind

China's rapid advancement in high-tech nuclear power development has put the United States up to 15 years behind, according to a study by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

According to a recent study by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a Washington-based think tank, the United States finds itself trailing China by as much as 15 years in the development of high-tech nuclear power. This gap is attributed to Beijing’s state-backed technological strategies and robust financial support, giving the Chinese a significant advantage in this crucial sector.

China’s impressive progress is evident with 27 nuclear reactors currently under construction, boasting remarkably short construction times averaging around seven years, a pace far outstripping that of other nations, as highlighted in the study.

“The rapid deployment of increasingly modern nuclear power plants in China produces significant economies of scale and learning-by-doing effects over time, suggesting that Chinese companies will gain an edge in innovation in this sector in the future,” the report emphasized.

Modern large thermal power plant , Dezhou city ,shandong province,China

Despite having the world’s largest fleet of nuclear power plants, the US is facing challenges in keeping pace. While President Joe Biden’s administration views nuclear power as a vital tool in combating climate change due to its virtually emission-free nature, the country is not currently constructing any new nuclear reactors after the completion of two large plants in Georgia by 2024.

In contrast, China’s recent milestone achievement includes connecting the world’s first high-temperature gas-cooled fourth-generation reactor to the grid in December. This groundbreaking project involved developing over 2,200 pieces of equipment, many of which are the first of their kind globally, with an impressive localization rate of domestically produced materials reaching 93.4%.

China’s advantage extends beyond technological prowess, with state-owned banks offering loans as low as 1.4%, significantly lower than those available in Western economies. This, coupled with sustained state support and effective localization strategies, has enabled China to dominate not just nuclear power but also sectors like renewable energy and electric vehicles, as highlighted in the comprehensive report.

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