US to help Thailand develop nuclear power

23 November 2022

The USA will help Thailand develop nuclear power through a new class of small reactors, part of a programme aimed at fighting climate change, Vice-President Kamala Harris announced during a recent visit to Thailand. A statement from the White House said that these reactors use new technology and take up less space, all while having the highest standards of safety, security, and non-proliferation. US experts will work with Thailand to implement the technology.

Harris made the statements while representing the US at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. The White House statement said: “The United States welcomes Thailand joining the Net Zero World Initiative, a US-led programme launched at COP26 to leverage US government expertise, philanthropy, and partner countries to accelerate the transition to net zero emission energy systems. Together, we will promote cooperation in electric vehicles, solar energy and energy efficiency, to help Thailand meet its future energy demands.”

The statement added that Harris “is launching a new clean energy partnership with Thailand to build capacity for the secure and safe deployment of advanced nuclear reactor technologies under the US Foundational Infrastructure for Responsible Use of Small Modular Reactor Technology (FIRST) Programme. This partnership builds on almost 50 years of US-Thailand civil nuclear cooperation. The FIRST programme will work with experts from government, academia, industry, and national laboratories to explore options to advance Thailand’s goal of Net Zero Emissions by 2065 through deployment of small modular reactors (SMRs) under the highest standards of safety, security and non-proliferation. … Cooperation under FIRST will also deepen strategic ties, support clean energy innovation, and advance technical collaboration between the two countries.”

Image: US Vice-President Kamala Harris meets Supreme Patriarch Somdet Phra Ariyavangsagatayana in Wat Ratchabophit temple in Bangkok as it was announced the US will help Thailand develop nuclear power (courtesy of AFP)

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