US Senate Passes Bill to Ban Enriched Uranium Imports from Russia

by Roman Cheplyk
Wednesday, May 1, 2024
US Senate Passes Bill to Ban Enriched Uranium Imports from Russia

The US Senate has approved legislation to prohibit the import of enriched uranium from Russia, a measure that is now awaiting President Joe Biden’s signature to become law

This prohibition is set to be effective 90 days following its enactment.

However, the legislation includes specific exceptions that will remain in effect until January 2028. Under these conditions, if alternative sources of supply are unavailable, the US Department of Energy is authorized to issue permits for the importation of enriched uranium from Russia. This provision will sunset at the end of 2040.

Russia is currently the largest foreign supplier of enriched uranium for the United States, providing nearly a quarter of the fuel used by over 90 commercial nuclear reactors in the country. This trade nets Moscow approximately one billion dollars annually. The cessation of these imports poses potential challenges, including a potential increase in enriched uranium prices by about 20%.

The implementation of this ban is also seen as a step to activate approximately $2.7 billion in federal support for the US domestic uranium industry, which was approved by Congress earlier this year.

Bloomberg has suggested that in retaliation, Russia might consider imposing a unilateral ban on uranium exports if the US proceeds with this import ban.

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