Press reports of China hoping to strike deals with the Taliban to secure mineral rights in Afghanistan are very likely to be an exaggeration, explains Lukas Trakimavičius. It’s true that China wants minerals essential to the clean energy transition and other technologies. It’s also true that Afghanistan has an abundance (copper, cobalt, lithium, rare earths, etc.), and they’re worth something of the order of $1tn. But it can take a decade to get … [Read more...]
Nuclear: Does the West’s military need Small Modular Reactors?
The development of small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs), generating up to 300MW, are already getting support for civilian purposes. The military in Russia, China and the U.S. are also interested. It should reduce the reliance on long fuel supply lines, the defence of which costs lives. SMRs would be factory made and delivered on site. But Lukas Trakimavičius says many difficult questions must be answered before the West commits to this solution. … [Read more...]