Russia is moving to create a global nuclear power empire — a bold power play that elicits opportunity and risk far beyond the nuclear reactors themselves.
The Rosatom Model
The strategy has thus far been relatively straightforward. Russia’s nuclear energy program dates back to the advent of nuclear power, and Russia’s state-owned nuclear vendor — Rosatom — is the only company in nuclear capable of offering the “industry’s entire range of products and services.”
Over the past five years, Rosatom has quietly cornered the market in nuclear energy, systematically seeking out agreements and contracts with roughly 30 nations interested in the installation of nuclear power plants (NPPs).
Thus, Russia’s nuclear power diplomacy has penetrated the international stage in an already significant manner. Countries that have signed on to Rosatom nuclear agreements span across all regions of the world, and include strategically significant players such as Argentina, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.
While other countries such as the United States and France have the nuclear know-how required to export nuclear technologies abroad, no entity outside of Russia has aggressively sought to capitalize on international demand for nuclear energy. The Russian dominance of global nuclear energy that has followed holds important geopolitical connotations in the medium-term and beyond.
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