North American Member News April 2024


1 May 2024


Eileen Supko

U.S. Senate Passes Russian Uranium Ban

On April 30, the U.S. Senate passed legislation to ban the import of Russian low-enriched uranium. The same legislation was passed by the House of Representatives in December. The legislation must now be signed by the President in order to be enacted into law.

The legislation will ban the import of Russian uranium 90 days after enactment of the legislation. U.S. entities (nuclear operating companies and nuclear fuel fabricators, on behalf of foreign nuclear operating companies) can apply for waivers to allow further imports if there are not sufficient supplies to cover reactor requirements. The U.S. DOE will administer the waiver process. 

It is unlikely that the European Union will pass a similar ban as there is not unanimity among member countries. However, most European nuclear operating companies are not signing additional supply contracts with Rosatom entities. European VVER reactor operators in Finland, Czechia, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Ukraine are all in the process of transitioning to Western nuclear fuel fabrication for VVER reactor fuel.

Through passage of the Russian uranium ban, the U.S. DOE will now be able to access up to $2.7 billion, which was included in legislation passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in December 2023, to assist in the expansion of U.S. uranium production and U.S. uranium conversion and enrichment capacity. The NDAA funding is contingent on limits or a prohibition on the import of enriched Russian uranium being put in place, either by law or administrative action.

The text of the Prohibiting Russian Uranium Imports

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