Russia And China Plan Joint Lunar Nuclear Power Plant

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese dictator Xi Jinping are planning to build a nuclear power unit on the Moon, according to the National Pulse.

General Director of Russia’s Roscosmos Yuri Borisov said on Tuesday that the space agency was “seriously considering” building a nuclear reactor “jointly with our Chinese partners,” according to the Russian state-run news agency Tass.

Borisov also claimed Russia is working on building a nuclear-powered “space tugboat.”
“We are indeed working on a space tugboat. This huge, cyclopean structure that would be able, thanks to a nuclear reactor and high-power turbines…to transport large cargoes from one orbit to another, collect space debris and engage in many other applications,” Borisov said.

The announcement follows weeks of discussions between China and Russia centered on “outer space security” and “AI weapons,” according to the Pulse.

Commander of U.S. Space Command Gen. Stephen Whiting expressed unease over Russia’s and China’s rapidly developing space military capabilities, according to Space News.

“The PRC’s and Russia’s actions have transformed space into a contested warfighting domain,” Whiting told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Feb. 29.

Whiting warned that the U.S. is facing a “window of vulnerability” in the next few years in defending space assets from potential foreign aggression.

Commander of U.S. Strategic Command Gen. Anthony Cotton and Whiting singled out China and Russia as threats to the U.S. space program because of their ongoing development of anti-satellite weapons.

A major concern for the U.S. is China’s burgeoning number of surveillance satellites. As of January 2024, China has launched 359 intelligence satellites, Whiting claimed, “more than tripling its on-orbit collection presence since 2018.”

Whiting also claimed China has “dramatically increased their ability to monitor, track and target U.S. and allied forces both terrestrially and on orbit.”

“Russia also continues to develop, test and demonstrate their counter-space capabilities,” Whiting continued, “despite not having achieved their war aims from their invasion of Ukraine.”

“Russia’s war in Ukraine has established space as an indelible enabler of terrestrial warfare,” he said.

For his part, Borisov said the technology to automate the lunar nuclear power plant’s construction is nearly ready.

He also claimed nuclear energy on the moon would serve to power “future lunar settlements,” as existing solar panels would fail to provide sufficient electricity.

If what Borisov said proves true, Russia and China are winning the space race.