China’s PetroChina to Control US Navy Nuclear Fuel Supply?

China’s PetroChina to Control US Navy Nuclear Fuel Supply?

China buying the Navy’s only nuclear fuel provider? – USNI Blog
April 2009

If the rumors are true, PetroChina, a Chinese “Government Controlled Entity” (pdf), is on the verge of buying McDermott International, a company that, as I understand things, is the U.S. Navy’s sole provider of nuclear fuel and nuclear fuel assemblies.

McDermott, a Panama “based” corporate tax-avoider, also manages the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve. (along with a lot of other critical national defense infrastructure. Take a look.)

This rumored buy-out comes at a very interesting time. First, McDermott subsidiary Babcock and Wilcox bought out NFS (a competing nuclear fuel provider for the Navy) in January of this year. (NFS was a troubled company that the Springboard covered previously–here.)

Second, the 2007 National Defense Authorization act, thanks to Representative Gene Taylor (D-MS), mandates that all future big Navy ships employ nuclear propulsion. But, now that we’re locked in and want high-energy/big power generation capabilities, where will the fuel come from? And at what price?

Third, what better way to transform the Chinese Navy’s expected “carrier-building” announcement into a great-power referendum? Rather than a simple, “hey, we’re building our first carrier, whee!” the announcement becomes, “Not only are we building carriers, we now own the means to build…nuclear supercarriers.”

Fourth, given that the purchase may be announced as early as Monday morning, this buy-out of a critical piece of the U.S. Defense Industrial Base risks putting an undeniably sharp edge on China’s upcoming naval celebration.

In the event the rumor is real… this takeover offers a humbling example of how financial power can trump even the largest of navies.

What, pray tell, is the implication of China’s aggressive business play, and, if this takeover does happen, what are our options?


read full article here… China buying the Navys only nuclear fuel provider? | USNI Blog.

And we worry about “Nukes in Pakistan” (that we already control) while China is controlling the World’s resources… (what’s really going on in DC?) joe

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