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American nuclear power industry uses Russian fuel, seeks exemption from sanctions

U.S. utilities push White House not to sanction Russian uranium,  By Ernest Scheyder and Trevor Hunnicutt, March 1 (Reuters) – The U.S. nuclear power industry is lobbying the White House to allow uranium imports from Russia to continue despite the escalating conflict in Ukraine, with cheap supplies of the fuel seen as key to keeping American electricity prices low, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

The United States relies on Russia and its allies Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan for roughly half of the uranium powering its nuclear plants – about 22.8 million pounds (10.3 million kg) in 2020 – which in turn produce about 20% of U.S. electricity, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration and the World Nuclear Association.

Washington and its allies have imposed a series of sanctions on Moscow in the past week as Russian forces pushed deeper into neighboring Ukraine, though the sanctions exempt uranium sales and related financial transactions.

The National Energy Institute (NEI), a trade group of U.S. nuclear power generation companies including Duke Energy Corp (DUK.N) and Exelon Corp (EXC.O), is lobbying the White House to keep the exemption on uranium imports from Russia, the sources said.

The NEI lobbying aims to ensure that uranium is not caught up in any future energy-related sanctions, especially as calls intensify to sanction Russian crude oil sales, the sources said.

“The (U.S. nuclear power) industry is just addicted to cheap Russian uranium,” said one of the sources, who declined to be named, citing the sensitivity of the situation.

Duke and Exelon, two of the largest U.S. utilities, could not immediately be reached for comment…………………

Russia’s uranium production is controlled by Rosatom, a state-run company formed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2007. The company is an important source of revenue for the country……..

Other utilities around the globe have already begun looking beyond Russia for supply. Swedish power company Vattenfall AB (VATN.UL) said last week it would stop buying Russian uranium for its nuclear reactors until further notice, citing the Ukrainian conflict. https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/exclusive-us-utilities-push-white-house-not-sanction-russian-uranium-2022-03-02/

March 3, 2022 - Posted by | business and costs, politics, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA, weapons and war

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