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President Joe Biden has officially signed a new law that bans the import of enriched uranium from Russia. 

This legislative move is a continuation of efforts to diminish the financial resources Russia derives from its exports in light of its military actions in Ukraine. The law prohibits these imports starting in 90 days but permits waivers from the Department of Energy until 2028 under certain conditions.

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Russia, which supplies about 24% of the enriched uranium for US nuclear reactors, has been a significant player in the global uranium market. The US, however, has been preparing to reduce this dependency.  

The White House had previously targeted Russia’s oil and gas exports and has extended these new restrictions impact Russia’s nuclear sector. Despite the ban’s potential impact on the US nuclear industry, authorities are optimistic about managing any adverse outcomes. A House report on the law discusses current US enrichment capabilities, which only meet about 30% of the demand, and the legislative steps to fortify domestic production.

In addition to enhancing domestic capabilities, the legislation allocates approximately $2.7 billion to augment the US uranium industry’s capacity. Jake Sullivan, the National Security Adviser, emphasized that the law aims to “strengthen our nation’s energy and economic security by reducing, and ultimately eliminating, our reliance on Russia for civilian nuclear power.”

The law also addresses international cooperation as part of its strategy to replace Russian uranium. With support from Canada, France, and Japan, the US plans to secure a stable transition to other uranium sources, minimizing any significant disruption to its nuclear sector.  


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