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With bipartisan support, the US House of Representatives has approved a bill to prohibit the importation of Russian uranium used in nuclear power plants.

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This legislation, passed by a voice vote, aims to reduce America’s dependence on Russian nuclear materials. Republican Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Democrat Representative Frank Pallone both advocated for the bill ahead of the vote.

The bill stipulates that importing low-enriched uranium, a key component in nuclear fuel, will become illegal 90 days after the legislation is enacted. However, the legislation provides a waiver in case alternative sources of uranium are unavailable to sustain nuclear reactors. This measure comes against the backdrop of the US importing most of its uranium, with about 12% sourced from Russia in 2022, as per the Energy Information Administration.

Representative Rodgers highlighted the urgency of the situation, stating, “One of the most urgent security threats America faces right now is our dangerous reliance on Russia’s supply of nuclear fuels for our nuclear fleet,” emphasizing that the conflict in Ukraine has intensified this issue. On the other hand, Representative Pallone expressed initial reservations about the bill, preferring it to be paired with investments in domestic uranium enrichment. However, he noted that an upcoming National Defense Authorization Act measure addresses this concern.

Mike Rogers

Pallone elaborated on the bill’s significance: “The combination of banning imports of Russian uranium and investing in domestic capacity will provide private industry with both the certainty and the incentives it needs to invest in the nuclear fuel supply chain.”


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