Last week, US Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette admitted that the decline of the American industrial base in nuclear power over the past few decades had jeopardised the country’s national security.

Russia had recently announced its 'Russia 2035 energy policy'

The US Department of Energy has unveiled a strategy to restore the country’s “competitive nuclear advantages” in a document that singles out at least four steps to implement the task.

“America has lost its competitive global position as the world leader in nuclear energy to state-owned enterprises, notably [in] Russia and China, with other competitor nations also aggressively moving to surpass the United States”, the authors of the document noted.

First and foremost, they call for taking “immediate and bold action” in order to bolster the uranium mining and conversion industries, also restoring “the viability of the entire front-end of the nuclear fuel cycle”.

Another step includes the use of US technological innovation and advanced nuclear RD&D (Research, Development, and Demonstration) investments, aimed “to consolidate technical advances and strengthen American leadership in the next generation of nuclear energy technologies”, according to the strategy, which was developed by the US Nuclear Fuel Working Group.

One more task stipulates ensuring conditions that “there will be a healthy and growing nuclear energy sector to which uranium miners, fuel cycle providers, and reactor vendors can sell their products and services".

Last but not least, the strategy pushes for taking “a whole-of-government approach” toward shoring up the US nuclear energy industry when it comes to “exporting civil nuclear technology in competition with state-owned enterprises”.

Separately, the strategy referred to Russia’s “economic influence around the world with $133 billion in foreign orders for [nuclear] reactors” and alleged plans to build more than 50 reactors in 19 countries.

When mentioning China, the authors accused “a strategic competitor” of using “predatory economics as a tool of statecraft”, and claimed that Beijing is currently helping construct four reactors abroad, “with prospects for 16 more reactors across multiple countries”.

The strategy comes after US Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette said last week that “the decline of the US industrial base in the front end of the nuclear fuel cycle over the past few decades has threatened our national interest and national security”.

He added that the Trump administration remains committed to regaining the US’ “global position as the world leader in nuclear energy”.

Russia’s permanent representative to international organisations in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, has meanwhile said that Washington's plans to win a market share in the nuclear technologies sphere from Russia raise eyebrows, especially given the situation around the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

"From the political point of view, the presentation of such tasks looks at least strange and shows that the US energy sector representatives have not yet understood the new reality emerging in light of the coronavirus, which, I believe, calls for cooperation instead of tough competition", Ulyanov underscored.

According to Johns Hopkins University’s latest estimates, more than three million people have contracted the coronavirus disease to date, with over 218,000 fatalities.