The US is concerned about the supply of Russian uranium to China.
The US is concerned about the supply of Russian uranium to China.

 This may indicate an increase in the production of weapons-grade plutonium in China, writes Bloomberg.

China's so-called fast breeder reactor on Changbiao Island is one of the most closely watched nuclear installations in the world. US intelligence officials predict that when the CFR-600 goes live this year, it will produce weapons-grade plutonium that could help Beijing to quadruple its stockpile of warheads over the next 12 years, which would put China on par with the nuclear arsenals currently deployed by the US and Russia.

The publication links China's "growing opportunities" to build up weapons with Russia's suspension of participation in the new START treaty.

Pentagon officials say Rosatom's Dec. 12 delivery of 6477 kg of uranium "fuels a nuclear program that could destabilize the military balance in Asia, where tensions are rising over Taiwan and control of South China."

China is also building a desert plant in Gansu province to extract plutonium from spent CFR-600 fuel once construction is completed in two years. 

Beijing has stopped voluntarily reporting plutonium stocks to the IAEA since 2017, which also raises concerns among the publication's experts.

The danger now is that the recriminations between Beijing and Washington will become nuclear once CFR-600 is up and running, potentially allowing weapons-grade plutonium to be produced in the coming years.

Blog and articles