Biden signs ban on import of Russian nuclear reactor fuel into law

By Timothy Gardner

The ban on the import of fuel for nuclear power plants will take effect in about 90 days, although it will allow the Energy Ministry to grant waivers in case of supply problems.

Russia is the world’s largest supplier of enriched uranium, and about 24% of the enriched uranium used by US nuclear power plants comes from the country.

The law also releases approximately $2.7 billion in funding from previous legislation to build the U.S. uranium fuel industry.

“Today, President Biden signed into law a historic series of actions that will strengthen our nation’s energy and economic security by reducing and ultimately eliminating our dependence on Russia for civilian nuclear energy,” Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser, said in a statement rack.

Sullivan said the law “achieves the multilateral goals we have set with our allies and partners,” including a pledge last December with Canada, France, Japan and the United Kingdom to jointly invest $4.2 billion to expand the uranium enrichment and conversion capacity.

The waivers, if implemented by the Energy Department, will allow all Russian uranium imports that the U.S. normally imports until 2027.

(Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by Leslie Adler)