In this issue, we highlight a recent joint statement from the U.S. and India, who have agreed to cooperate further on civil nuclear development in India. We also note China's latest investments for its national nuclear energy program, progress on Turkey's Russian-built nuclear power plant, and an agreement between NuScale Power and Romania's state energy company to develop small modular reactors in the country. Lastly, we include several prominent opinion pieces on the need for nuclear energy to combat climate change, including one featured in TIME Magazine.
The U.S. is Slowly Getting in the Game
The U.S. has woken up to the fact that Russia is aggressively advancing on the nuclear export playing field, that China is not far behind, and that this will impact American international influence and objectives for decades to come. Nuclear export is more than an economic issue. In this century it is about the formation of the geopolitical and geostrategic landscape and the preservation of strong nuclear non-proliferation and security standards.

Last month one of the State Department’s big thinkers on nuclear issues outlined a new approach to nuclear exports that included the use of “non-binding bilateral political arrangements more akin to a memorandum of understanding (MOU) than a full 123 [agreement].” The goal is to connect with countries that are considering nuclear power and help them build the hard and soft infrastructure that is required to effectively operate the technology. If the country decided to move forward and desired U.S. technology, a formal 123 nuclear cooperation agreement could be negotiated and sent to the Congress for approval.

Undergirding this evolution in approach is a rejection of the “business as usual” model that allows authoritarian rivals of the U.S. to undercut the important non-proliferation and security limits that it incorporates into its nuclear cooperation agreements. If the U.S. cannot reach a 123 agreement with a country America’s strong requirements can be circumvented.

This change in policy will attract attacks because it may look like a backtracking on the 123 process. But it is a reflection of reality. The international nuclear game has significantly changed, and the U.S. is playing catch-up. Russia has over 40 nuclear export MOU’s in place around the world, and it controls half of all reactor construction and fuel supply agreements. China has a three-pronged strategy for civil nuclear domination that includes building reactors in the U.K., one of America’s strongest allies.

The interplay between nuclear export and non-proliferation is highly charged, and it has been a source of intense conflict even with strong U.S. allies like Japan and South Korea.

Recently the focus has been on the competition to supply Saudi Arabia with two nuclear reactors. The U.S. is a contender along with Russia and China. But the Saudis are not making it easy to make a deal. There is pressure to apply the Gold Standard to any U.S.-Saudi deal, which would ban the provision of uranium enrichment and spent-fuel reprocessing technology. If the Saudis pick a nuclear partner that is an American geopolitical rival, that will leave the U.S. on the sidelines, along with the strong non-proliferation and security standards it has long championed.

It is not clear if the consequences of failure in this challenging balancing act are well understood among nuclear policymakers and influencers. Certainly a tantalizing catnip cocktail of factors has led to questionable speculation that the administration is trying to circumvent the Congress and provide Saudi Arabia with the tools to manufacture nuclear weapons. 

The reality is that nuclear export in the 21 st Century is about more than energy technology transfer. With Russia and China gobbling up the current global nuclear market and making plans to dominate next-generation reactor technologies, the U.S. and its allies must adapt quickly and compete much more aggressively and nimbly. The alternative is to cede the future control of civil nuclear power to two countries that do not like to play by the rules.

Ken Luongo, President of Partnership for Global Security
There is a strong case to be made for the societal value of nuclear power in the 21st century that is compelling and globally important.
Nuclear Collaboration
In a joint statement, the U.S. and India have agreed to build six nuclear power plants (NPPs) in India to strengthen bilateral security and civil nuclear cooperation.

NuScale Power announced that it signed a memorandum of understanding with Societatea Nationala Nuclearelectrica SA, a Romanian energy company, to explore the development of small modular reactors (SMRs).

Rosatom and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNP) signed a general contract for the construction of two additional Russian-supplied reactors for the Tianwan NPP in China.
Nuclear Policy, Governance, and Geopolitics
CNNP and China General Nuclear Power (CGN) have confirmed that they will invest $12 billion for four new reactors in the Fujian and Guangdong provinces, marking an end to a three-year hiatus in nuclear reactor construction.

China will start the construction of its first floating NPP within this year, which will be located in the South China Sea to power newly created islands located in the disputed territory.

China and Argentina will resume talks for the construction of a NPP in Argentina, as a delegation from China will visit the country this month to meet with local suppliers.

Brazil is planning on signing an accord next week with the U.S. that would allow U.S. companies to invest in NPPs in the country. Meanwhile, Bento Albuquerque, Brazil’s Energy Minister, met with U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry this week to discuss establishing the U.S.-Brazil Energy Forum, a new bilateral energy cooperative framework.

The foundation for Turkey's first reactor at the Akkuyu NPP has been completed. The project is expected to finish in late 2019. However, the European Parliament voted to call on Turkey to halt construction and consult the governments of neighboring countries before any further developments occur.

Iran’s Atomic chief stated that the country will build two new additional NPPs with the help of Russia, that will produce 1,057 megawatts of electricity and are expected to be finished by 2026.

Bulgaria’s National Electricity Company has invited  strategic investors to fund its second NPP project, which could not be completed in 2012 due to lack of funding.
Domestic Civil Nuclear Developments
Dominion Energy, Eversource and United Illuminating signed a new ten-year contract that ensures the continued operation of the Millstone NPP in Connecticut, which generates about 45% of Connecticut's electricity and was at risk of retirement by 2023.
In Ohio, lawmakers have introduced the Advanced Nuclear Technology Helping Energize Mankind (ANTHEM) Act, which will create a nonprofit Ohio nuclear development authority to promote advanced nuclear reactor technology and the state as a leader in advanced nuclear technology.
Utah lawmakers are considering funding up to $10 million dollars to develop and support a nuclear research laboratory, focused on research related to thorium in energy production.
Nuclear Security and Emerging Technologies

The nuclear industry is making a push towards new technologies such as SMRs to curb the cost of nuclear energy and to help it play a more significant role in mitigating future emissions in developed economies.
Noteworthy Research

The Breakthrough Institute published a new report titled, “ The Road More Traveled.” This report examines five case studies of successful universal electrification and comes to the conclusion that universal electrification cannot be achieved without a broad process of economic development and modernization and requires deliberate efforts by governments.
The Nuclear Conversation
For more than two decades, the Partnership for Global Security (PGS) has developed actionable responses to global security challenges by engaging international, private sector, and multidisciplinary expert partners to assess policy needs, identify effective strategies, and drive demonstrable results.
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