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Vladimir Putin one step closer to putting nuclear energy in space with new order

Vladimir Putin has taken the next step in realising his plan for space nuclear energy as he orders agencies to begin funding the program.

Roscosmos and Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation, two Kremlin-controlled agencies, were ordered by the president to allocate funds for nuclear energy in space by June 15.

These orders, however, did not mention nuclear weapons or anti-satellite devices, despite Western fears of weapons of mass destruction being used in space.

State-run news agency Tass quoted Putin as saying: “Starting from 2024, budgetary allocations from the federal budget in the amount necessary for the implementation of measures provided for by the federal project ‘Development of Space Nuclear Energy in Russia’.”

He added: “[With special attention] to the implementation of measures to develop the existing scientific and technical basis in the field of space nuclear energy.”

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In February, the White House warned that Russia is capable of creating an anti-satellite weapon that could be used in space, and ABC News reported that the country is attempting to create one.

John Kirby, the White House National Security Council spokesperson, declared that the use of any such weapon would violate a decades-old treaty.

In 1967, the US and what was then the Soviet Union signed a treaty banning the placement of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction in space.


However, at the start of the war in Ukraine, Putin removed his country from the New START treaty – the last remaining treaty with the US that limited nuclear arsenals.

In March, he discussed putting a nuclear power unit in space, calling it a priority for Russia.

He said: “[Russia] has good competencies and, moreover, even has such reserves that we can be proud of, which we can count on in the future.”

This appears to be a reaction to the news that China is “seriously considering” installing a nuclear reactor on the moon between 2033 and 2035, according to the head of Roscosmos, Yuri Borisov.


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