Putin says setting up a nuclear power unit in space is a priority for Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin told government officials on Thursday that space projects, including setting up a nuclear power unit in space, should be a priority and get proper financing, according to state news agency TASS.

Russia “has good competencies and, moreover, even has such reserves that we can be proud of, which we can count on in the future,” Putin said during a meeting with members of the government, pointing as an example to a nuclear power unit that would operate in space.

“We need to finance it on time,” Putin said, according to TASS.

“We just need to set priorities,” he said, adding “there are issues there that require additional attention.”

“It seems that we are all used to the fact that we have such competencies that other countries do not possess, but we need to pay special attention to them so that they develop and can be used in the future to solve those tasks that can and should be solved with the help of these technologies,” Putin said.

The head of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos, Yuri Borisov, said last week that Russia and China are working on a project to install a nuclear reactor on the moon, according to TASS.

“Today, we are seriously considering a project to deliver to the moon and mount a power reactor there jointly with our Chinese partners somewhere between 2033 and 2035,” he said in remarks at a youth festival on March 5.

In March 2021, Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos and the China National Space Administration signed a memorandum on behalf of their governments on cooperation in creating an International Lunar Research Station, according to TASS.

The news comes after sources told CNN last month that Russia is trying to develop a nuclear space weapon that could potentially cripple a vast swath of commercial and government satellites.

This kind of new weapon — known generally by military space experts as a nuclear EMP — would create a pulse of electromagnetic energy and a flood of highly charged particles that would tear through space to disrupt other satellites winging around Earth.

The weapon is still under development in Russia and is not yet in orbit, Biden administration officials have emphasized publicly. But if used, officials say, it would cross a dangerous rubicon in the history of nuclear weapons and could cause extreme disruptions to everyday life in ways that are difficult to predict.

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