Now there is a possibility of nuclear race on the moon. The US has announced to install a nuclear power plant by 2027 on the moon. The recently released US Space Policy Directive-6 (SPD-6) states that nuclear fission (FISN) energy systems should be installed on the lunar surface. This system should be such that it can generate 40 kW or more power. SPD-6 incorporates the idea of creating a similar national nuclear energy and operational strategy for the US.
There has been a strong reaction in China on this news. China’s media reports have said that this ambition of the US may lead to a military race on the moon in the future. These reports alleged that the US is trying to dominate the space without worrying about how much damage it would cause. Although the US has said that its purpose is to support the supply of the energy needed to stay on the moon for a long time and from there on Mars, but the sources of the Chinese government are of the opinion that America’s motive behind this is military is.
In this regard, the Chinese Times newspaper Global Times has published the opinion of a Chinese military expert. Accordingly, helium gas is available in abundance on the moon. It can be used for nuclear fission. The expert said that the US has talked about exploiting nuclear materials on the moon and setting up a nuclear power plant, but ultimately it can use the moon as a site to build nuclear weapons.
SPD-6 was issued by President Donald Trump himself. It lays out a plan to effectively use nuclear power and systems of operation in space. This document was released at the same time when the Chinese vehicle returned to Earth after completing the moon’s journey and taking its sample.
Chinese experts say that the objective of the latest America is to drag China into the space race. It is on the same lines as US President Ronald Regan in the 1980s dragged the then Soviet Union into the Star War program.
The purpose of that program was to avoid the attack of long-range nuclear-armed ballistic missiles. But the Soviet Union had to invest its resources extensively in that race. It is considered a major reason for its shattering within a few years.
Professor Li Haidong at the Institute of International Relations at China Foreign Affairs University has said that this plan to take its lead in space shows the attitude of the US to take unilateral steps. This is against the international consensus about the use of space.
According to the website The Eurasian Times, he said that the 1979 United Nations General Assembly had approved the Moon Treaty. It was said that no country will try to assert its sovereignty by occupying the moon or any other celestial body. The US did not join that treaty. But till now he has more or less followed the rules laid down in this treaty. But now the Trump administration is trying to defy him.
It will now be seen whether the Biden administration, which takes power next month, also follows this policy or tries to form an international consensus on it. At the moment, another issue of conflict between the US and China has come to the fore with SPD-6.