Wed. Jul 24th, 2024
Prohibiting Imports of Uranium Products from the Russian Federation

The President signed H.R. 1042, the Prohibiting Russian Uranium Imports Act, into law May 13, 2024.  This bipartisan legislative action prohibits the import of Russian uranium products into the United States as of August 12, 2024, while enabling a waiver process with the Department of Energy, in consultation with the Departments of State and Commerce, through January 1, 2028, consistent with the law. 

This prohibition supports the United States’ ongoing effort to reduce and ultimately eliminate our dependence on Russian uranium for civil nuclear power reactors by prohibiting uranium product imports from the Russian Federation.  Russia continues to use its military-industrial base in its war against Ukraine and to undermine international and U.S. national security, in part, with proceeds from its uranium exports.  

Additionally, Russian entities responsible for uranium exports are part of the State Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom), which is also responsible for aspects of Russia’s nuclear weapons complex.  Proceeds from Russian uranium exports enrich Rosatom and risk enhancing Russia’s nuclear weapons program, which poses an ongoing and serious threat to the national security of the United States.  Since February 2022, the United States has sanctioned over 35 Rosatom subsidiaries and related individuals under Executive Order 14024.

The Russian Federation has also proven by its actions it is willing to weaponize economic relationships, which makes the continued reliance on Russian uranium products a threat to U.S. energy and economic security through dependence on an insecure source or supply of uranium needed for domestic nuclear energy.

With bipartisan support from Congress, the enactment of this law also releases $2.72 billion in appropriated funds to the Department of Energy to invest in domestic uranium enrichment further advancing a secure and resilient global nuclear energy fuel supply consistent with our international obligations.  These obligations include our commitment with the G7 in June 2022 to reduce reliance on Russian civil nuclear and related goods. Separately, this law enables our COP 28 commitments under the Sapporo 5 grouping joining Canada, France, Japan, and the United Kingdom to invest $4.2 billion to expand enrichment and conversion capacity and separately to join the Multinational Declaration to Triple Nuclear Energy Capacity by 2050.

The bipartisan act President Biden has signed into law, together with the funding in the FY24 budget, will provide assurance to industry, allies, and partners that the United States has made a clear decision to establish a secure nuclear fuel supply chain, independent of adversarial influence, for decades to come.

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originally published at Politics - JISIP NEWS