RELEASE: U.S. House Passes Ban on Russian Uranium Imports

December 13, 2023— Berkeley, CA

The Breakthrough Institute statement on the House passage of the Prohibiting Russian Uranium Imports Act (H.R. 1042).

The availability of fuel for civil nuclear energy is critical for national security and clean energy goals. U.S. civilian nuclear reactor operators, providing a fifth of the nation’s electricity, are dependent on an international nuclear fuel supply chain. U.S. reactor developers will also struggle to market their products, both domestically and internationally, without stable fuel availability.

Russia has a large influence on the global nuclear fuel supply chain—accounting for 35% of the world’s uranium enrichment capacity—and is the only country producing high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU) for commercial use that many advanced nuclear reactors require.

“Without action, Russia will continue its hold on the global uranium market to the detriment of U.S. allies and partners. Domestic or allied production capacity sufficient to replace Russia as a major supplier of fuel must be established,” said Ted Nordhaus, executive director of the Breakthrough Institute. “A ban on enriched uranium from Russia, along with support from the U.S. Department of Energy, is a necessary signal to the market to fast-track the expanding domestic low-enriched uranium production capacity.” The legislation bans the import of Russian uranium fuel by 2028.

We support this bipartisan effort as one component of an effective and comprehensive nuclear fuel strategy. The Prohibiting Russian Uranium Imports Act, paired with other complementary, bipartisan legislation like the Nuclear Fuel Security Act can help spur the rapid development of a domestic nuclear fuel supply chain.