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Bloomberg: China imports Russian uranium, raising concerns over the nuclear arms race
China’s imports of Russian uranium will fuel a new reactor, creating weapons-grade plutonium as a byproduct, according to a Bloomberg article on Feb. 28.
“China paid about $384 million in three installments for 25,000 kilograms of CFR-600 fuel from Rosatom in that period (between September and December), according to the RUSI data, which is sourced from a third-party commercial provider and based on Russian customs records,” the article said.
The author relies on data provided to Bloomberg by the London Royal United Services Institute, a London think tank, and media statements by Rosatom.
According to the Pentagon officials cited in the article, “Dec. 12 supply of 6,477 kilograms (14,279 pounds) of uranium is fueling an atomic program that could destabilize Asia’s military balance, where there are growing tensions over Taiwan and control of the South China Sea.”
The weapons-grade plutonium produced in the new Chinese reactor on Changbiao Island could help increase the country’s “stockpile of warheads as much as four-fold in the next 12 years,” causing concern for non-proliferation efforts.
The news comes as Russian dictator Vladimir Putin signed into law his decision to suspend Russia’s participation in the New START treaty with the U.S. The arm control treaty aimed to limit the American and Russian nuclear arsenals.
Earlier in the month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for global sanctions to be imposed on Russia’s nuclear industry. The call came after Ukraine imposed sanctions on the Russian nuclear industry, which targeted 200 Russian entities, including Rosatom.