North American Member News May 2024


1 June 2024


Eileen Supko

U.S. Bans Import of Russian Uranium

In April, 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. On May 13, President Biden signed into law H.R.1042, the Prohibiting Russian Uranium Imports Act.

The ban will take effect on August 11, 2024. The law authorizes the Secretary of Energy, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Commerce, to waive the prohibition and permit the import of Russian uranium if an applicant can show that (1) it has no alternative viable source of uranium or (2) such imports are in the national interest. Any waiver by the Secretary of Energy is subject to annual aggregate limits and will terminate on or before January 1, 2028.

An import could be in the national interest if it meets one of the following criteria:

  • The import is necessary to maintain the viability of a U.S. nuclear energy company that is critical to the U.S. nuclear energy fuel supply chain.
  • The import is intended to support an existing arrangement to provide fuel for a nuclear power plant in another country and thus minimize the likelihood of that country seeking a non-U.S. fuel supplier.

The act also amends the Russian Suspension Agreement (RSA) to allow imports via the waiver process only in calendar years 2024 to 2027 up to the amounts contained in the RSA. Imports after 2027 are prohibited. Applicants for a waiver can submit requests electronically, via email.

On May 24, 2024, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) published in the Federal Register, Instructions for Requesting a Waiver From the Secretary of Energy for the Import of Russian Low-Enriched Uranium (LEU) into the United States.

If the Secretary of Energy grants waivers under this process, the Secretary must submit a notification of such action, including the identification of the waiver recipient, to the following Congressional committees: the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, the Senate Committee on Finance, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and the House Committee on Ways and Means.

For more information on the waiver process, see Federal Register notice

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