The United States should take action to ensure that domestic and foreign actors are not boosting the nuclear programs of adversaries.
For decades, the Defense Department made little or no connection between China’s civilian nuclear power program and its military nuclear weapons buildup. No longer.
For the last three years, the Pentagon has explicitly linked Beijing’s “peaceful” fast reactor power program to China’s ramped-up weapons plutonium efforts and the projection China will acquire more than 1,000 nuclear warheads by 2030. In its latest annual China military power report, the Defense Department went further and revealed that China is using its civilian nuclear reactors to produce tritium to fuel its thermonuclear weapons.