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US House passes bill banning import of uranium from Russia

by Nate Ostiller December 12, 2023 12:10 PM 1 min read
The Palo Verde nuclear power plant in Tonopah, Arizona, U.S. (Bettman/contributor via Getty Images)
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The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Dec. 11 to pass a bill banning the import of Russian uranium.

The bill, which will need to be passed by the Senate and then signed by President Joe Biden to become law, would ban the import of Russian uranium 90 days after its enactment. It would also not be a complete ban- Russian uranium imports would still be allowed if the U.S. energy secretary determined there was no other source, or if the imports were in the U.S.'s national interest.

"The risks of continuing this dependence on Russia for our nuclear fuels are simply too great," said Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Republican.

The U.S. has introduced sweeping sanctions and restrictions on the import of Russian products after the full-scale invasion, including fossil fuels, but has so far yet to add uranium to the list.

A majority of uranium used by the U.S. is purchased from abroad. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said that in 2022, 12% of the total amount of uranium used by nuclear power plants in the U.S. was purchased from Russia, making it the third largest supplier.

The first two largest suppliers, Canada and Kazakhstan, represented more than 50% of the total.

As the holiday season approaches, and much of the U.S. government's work slows down, it is unclear if there will be time for the Senate to pass the bill before the end of the year.

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