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REALITY: US Spent Over $1 Billion on Russian Uranium

Following events in Ukraine, the US has tried hard to appear to levying heavy sanctions on Russian energy like oil and gas, but weaning itself off of Russian-enriched uranium has proven to be an elusive task indeed.

The precious fuel is being used to power America’s 92 commercial nuclear reactors, making it difficult for legislators to ban. Just before New Year, the US House of Representatives passed legislation which bans the purchase of enriched Russian uranium for use in domestic reactors, but will already strained nuclear supply chains hold?

Despite disparate supplies dripping in from Europe, the fact remains that globally, Russia is also the only real commercially viable source of the highly enriched reactor fuel “Haleu” required to fuel the new breed of advanced nuclear reactors. So expect this dilemma to get even worse going forward…


(Image Source: Small Caps)

RT International reports…

The US imported more than $1 billion worth of Russian uranium from January through November 2023, RIA Novosti reported on Monday, citing data from the US statistics service.

In November alone, Russian exports of the nuclear fuel to the US amounted to $96 million. That made the sanctions-hit nation the biggest provider of uranium to America for the first time since May, when supplies totaled $177 million.

Other major uranium suppliers to the US include the UK and Japan, whose exports amounted to around $48.6 million and $44 million respectively in November. Supplies from Belgium totaled $2.4 million in the same period, while overall US imports of uranium amounted to nearly $191 million in November.

Last week, the US Department of Energy said authorities are seeking bids from contractors to help establish a domestic supply of uranium fuel enriched to higher levels for use in the next generation of reactors. The plan is expected to help the US find alternative suppliers of the fuel, which is currently only available in commercial levels from Russia.

In December, the US House of Representatives passed a ban on imports of Russian uranium as part of the sanctions campaign against Moscow over the Ukraine conflict. The bill must pass the Senate and be signed by the president before becoming law.

According to data tracked by the US Energy Information Administration, the country’s nuclear power plants imported about 12% of their uranium from Russia in 2022, compared to 27% from Canada and 25% from Kazakhstan. About 5% of uranium used in the US during that period was sourced domestically.

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