As part of a program to combat climate change, the United States will help Thailand generate nuclear power through a new class of compact reactors, Vice President Kamala Harris stated during a visit to Thailand on Saturday (Nov 19).
The White House stated that the support was part of its Net Zero World Initiative, an initiative announced at last year’s climate summit in Glasgow in which the United States collaborates with the business sector and philanthropic organizations to promote renewable energy.
Since the 2011 Fukushima tragedy in Japan soured popular sentiment on the subject, Thailand does not have nuclear power.
The White House stated that it would provide technical help to the Southeast Asian nation for the deployment of the emerging technology of factory-built, transportable compact modular reactors. These reactors are typically regarded safer because they can be shut down without human intervention.
Under the condition of anonymity, a senior US official traveling with Harris stated, “We’re looking forward to working with Thailand to maximize the benefits of small modular reactors and dependable clean energy sources.”
US experts will collaborate with Thailand on the deployment of the reactors, which will meet the “highest standards of safety, security, and nonproliferation” and have a smaller land footprint than alternatives.
China, Russia, and Argentina, adversaries of the United States, are also in the prototype design phase for compact modular reactors.
The White House did not provide a date but stated that it would assist Thailand’s aim of becoming carbon neutral by 2065. Thailand is very sensitive to climate change.
Harris, who is visiting the US ally for an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, will meet with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha later on Saturday to discuss the nuclear power proposal.
In addition, the White House announced a partnership with Thailand to improve the security of fifth-generation internet and a plan to construct a “world-class” cancer treatment center in Chonburi province, located in eastern Thailand.