Madison Freeman, www.defenseone.com, Council of Foreign Relations: Russia and China are using nuclear power projects to build spheres of energy dependence, and the United States is unprepared to respond. The Akkuyu reactor shows how Russia — and now China — are using energy exports to build influence abroad. Russia bids for such projects through its state-owned nuclear company, Rosatom, under a model that finances construction of nuclear plants, furnishes the trained personnel to run them, and leases them back to the client country. These projects come with more than a monetary price tag. Meanwhile, U.S. nuclear companies find it nearly impossible to compete against government-backed competitors motivated by political goals more than profit.
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