News of Russia Supplying Enriched Uranium to China "troubling": U.S. Official

  • Bureau
  • 10:00 AM, March 9, 2023
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News of Russia Supplying Enriched Uranium to China
John F. Plumb, assistant secretary of defense for space policy.

China is getting highly enriched Uranium and Plutonium from Russia’s Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation, a top U.S. official has claimed.

"It's very troubling to see Russia and China cooperating on this," John F. Plumb, assistant secretary of defense for space policy, replied.

"They may have talking points around it, but there's no getting around the fact that breeder reactors are plutonium, and plutonium is for weapons. So I think the [Defense] Department is concerned. And of course, it matches our concerns about China's increased expansion of its nuclear forces as well, because you need more plutonium for more weapons," Plumb added.

While it’s not clear how much Plutonium Russia is allegedly sending China, the Pentagon had said few years ago that 68 tonnes of plutonium was "enough material for approximately 17,000 nuclear weapons.”

China and Russia have placed nuclear weapons, space warfare and long-range strike at the center of their strategies to counter the United States and its allies and partners, he said.

News of Russia Supplying Enriched Uranium to China
B-2 Spirit bomber @U.S.A.F.

China also has an ever-growing inventory of sophisticated long-range strike systems putting U.S. forces at risk at greater and greater distances, Plumb said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's irresponsible nuclear saber rattling has further underscored the importance of the U.S. nuclear deterrent, which is the bedrock of national security, he said.

The National Defense Strategy (NDS) identified four priorities for the department, he said: defend the homeland; deter strategic attacks; deter aggression while preparing to prevail in conflict, particularly with China and Russia; and build a resilient joint force.

"All four of these priorities rely heavily on our space systems, our missile defenses and our nuclear forces," he said.

Cooperation with allies and partners is also a core element of the NDS, he added.

"Our allies and partners are an asymmetric advantage that neither China nor Russia can ever hope to match," he said.

Air Force Gen. Anthony J. Cotton, commander, U.S. Strategic Command; Air Force Gen. Glen D. VanHerck, commander, U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command; and Army Gen. James H. Dickinson, commander, U.S. Space Command, also provided testimony.

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