China sparks radiation leak fears with nuclear reactors plot in the South China Sea

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun13,2024

The US military has issued a warning about China’s reported advancement in developing floating nuclear reactors in the South China Sea, raising concerns about regional security and environmental risks.

Analysts have said that China’s move to construct ships with mobile nuclear power sources could escalate tensions with neighbouring countries and pose significant threats to the marine ecosystem.

Chinese media reports have described these marine nuclear power platforms as small plants housed within ships, acting as mobile “power banks” at sea to supply energy to stationary facilities and other vessels, South China Morning Post reported.

While Beijing previously stopped the project over safety and efficacy concerns, reports suggest that China is pressing forward with the development, particularly to power disputed islands.

According to outgoing US Indo-Pacific Command commander Admiral John Aquilino and State Department officials, China’s ongoing efforts to deploy floating reactors to disputed territories could destabilise regional security.

The Philippines has echoed these concerns, as China’s nuclear plants could further militarise contested areas of the South China Sea.

Philippines National Security Council Assistant Director General Jonathan Malaya said China told local media: “Anything that supports their military presence in those islands is technically a threat to our national security and against our interests,” he said, adding that Australia and the US would be among Manila’s allies conducting joint patrols in the South China Sea.

China’s ambitious plans come amid its expansive territorial claims in the region, which conflict with those of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

Beijing’s construction of artificial islands, complete with airport runways, has amplified tensions in the area.

Analysts caution that apart from building its military presence, China’s floating reactors could serve as a pretext for extending its security actions, potentially impacting maritime traffic and regional stability.

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Song Yanhui, director of the International Law Society of the Republic of China, Taiwan, told VOA: “It kills two birds with one stone. It is a win-win strategy. It can strengthen its military presence, civilian use and claim to sovereignty.”

However, the risk of any radiation leaks is a serious concern.

Pankaj Jha, dean of research at the School of International Affairs of India’s Jindal Global University, said: “It is a threat because it will contaminate water and also surrounding areas.

“Any radiation leak would make the island uninhabitable and might also impact fishermen from the South China Sea.”

While China has not directly addressed concerns over its floating nuclear reactors, its stated commitment to resolving disputes through talks with concerned countries and sticking to regional agreements suggesting intent on a diplomatic approach.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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One thought on “China sparks radiation leak fears with nuclear reactors plot in the South China Sea”
  1. As an environmental activist, I am deeply concerned about the potential radiation leaks that could result from China’s plan to deploy floating nuclear reactors in the South China Sea. Such a reckless move not only threatens regional security but also jeopardizes the fragile marine ecosystem in that area. It is imperative that international bodies take action to prevent this dangerous escalation of tensions.

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