June 18, 2024
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The U.S. Calls for Strengthened Safeguards in Push for Nuclear Power to Combat Climate Change

Amid the discussions around promoting nuclear power as part of climate change mitigation efforts, a group of bipartisan U.S. senators attending COP28 in Dubai emphasized the need for strengthened safeguards against the proliferation of fissile nuclear materials.

Reuters reported that the senators are working on legislation to support safeguards for small modular reactors, aiming to ensure their inclusion in defense policy bills.

While nuclear power is being promoted as a solution to achieve “net zero” emissions, Reuters said concerns have been raised about the potential misuse of uranium and plutonium for nuclear weapons.

The senators stressed the need for stringent controls to prevent the misuse of nuclear technology. The call for enhanced safeguards comes in the context of more than 20 countries pledging to triple nuclear power capacity by 2050.

The senators emphasized the importance of collaboration with other countries to ensure the safe and secure use of nuclear technology and prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.

U.S. Senator Edward Markey highlighted the importance of establishing standards to prevent a nuclear nonproliferation crisis alongside climate goals.

“Any steps forward … have to be accompanied by the very strongest, full-scope safeguards, or else we will see North Koreas, and Irans and Iraqs all across the planet,” Markey told reporters in a call.

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