U.S. Senate votes in favor of ban on Russian uranium: what consequences it entails

Darina GertsevaNews
US to ban imports of Russian uranium
US to ban imports of Russian uranium. Source: Freepik

On Tuesday, the US Senate passed a bill banning imports of Russian enriched uranium, responding to energy security risks and supporting domestic nuclear fuel production. This ban could lead to an increase in the cost of uranium and has the potential to stimulate investment in the American energy sector.

This was reported by Bloomberg. "This is a national security priority as dependence on Russian uranium sources poses a risk to the U.S. economy and the civilian nuclear industry, which have been further damaged by Russia's war in Ukraine," the White House said.

On Tuesday, April 30, the United States Senate voted in favor of a bill aimed at banning the import of enriched uranium from Russia. This step, which received unanimous support, was a response to the risks associated with Russian control over the supply of nuclear fuel for American reactors.

The bill stipulates that imports of Russian uranium will be banned 90 days after it becomes law, allowing for temporary exceptions until January 2028. The law needs to be signed by President Biden for it to take effect.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Russia has supplied nearly a quarter of the enriched uranium for U.S. reactors, providing more than 90 commercial facilities. This makes Russia the largest foreign supplier of nuclear fuel to the United States.

However, this dependence is considered unacceptable from the point of view of national security. In particular, it poses risks to the US economy and civilian nuclear industry, especially in the context of Russia's military actions in Ukraine.

The White House emphasized that this ban is an important step to ensure the country's energy security and support domestic uranium production. According to official statements, without the proper reaction from the United States, Russia will continue to dictate its terms on the global uranium market, which negatively affects the interests of the United States and its allies.

This step has another important side. It stimulates investment in the U.S. nuclear fuel production industry, which can help reduce dependence on imports and create new jobs.

However, the law has potentially negative consequences. According to Jonathan Hinze, president of the nuclear fuel research company UxC, replacing Russian uranium could lead to an increase in the cost of enriched uranium by about 20%. This could pose a financial challenge to U.S. nuclear power plant operators and increase the cost of electricity generation.

There is also a risk that Russia may respond to the import ban by imposing its own ban on uranium exports to the United States. This could lead to an immediate cessation of enriched uranium supplies and complicate the situation.

As previously reported, the collective limitation of the price of Russian oil by Western countries proved to be an ineffective measure to curb the replenishment of the Russian budget. As a result, it led to the replenishment of the "shadow" fleet of the Russian Federation.

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