Several Republican senators have prepared a new bill that would ban Russian uranium imports, in a further attempt to punish Moscow for its military operation in Ukraine.
As reported by Reuters, Wyoming Senator John Barrasso, along with Sens. Cynthia Lummis, Roger Marshall, and Kevin Cramer on Thursday unveiled new legislation to the Senate that would halt imports of Russian uranium into the US, in an effort to choke off the flow of dollars to Russia’s military excursion in Ukraine. So far, the Biden administration banned energy imports including oil and natural gas from Russia, but stopped short of axing the flow of uranium into the country. “While banning imports of Russian oil, gas and coal is an important step, it cannot be the last,” said Barrasso.
“Banning Russian uranium imports will further defund Russia’s war machine, help revive American uranium production, and increase our national security,” he continued. There are about 90 nuclear reactors across the US, making the country significantly reliant on uranium imports. According to data from the Energy Information Administration, Russia is responsible for about 16% of America’s uranium imports, while Canada and Kazakhstan contribute 22% each.
Russia also supplies the US with highly enriched, low assay uranium (HALEU), which is enriched up to 20%, and is going to be vital for America’s plans to create a new generation of nuclear reactors by 2030. If the ban on Russian uranium materializes, the US Department of Energy may need to expedite previous plans to invigorate domestic supply of HALEU.
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