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Putin Still Selling U.S. Nearly $1 Billion in Nuclear Fuel

NewsWeek, BY ANNA SKINNER ON 5/11/23

The United States has done a thorough job of sanctioning Russia, but it still relies on the nation for one key resource.

The U.S. and other Western nations were quick to sanction Russia after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Western allies joined forces in sanctioning resources like Russian oil and gas to deprive the Kremlin of financial gain amid funneling money into its war against Ukraine. International companies located in Russia also were quick to leave, further damaging the Russian economy, but Russia still maintains a firm grasp on a horde of something that many other countries want: nuclear fuel.

Nuclear energy, which generates power through a process of splitting uranium atoms, has evaded sanctions more than a year into the war. Enriching uranium is a highly specialized process that can only be done in certain countries, such as Russia. Russia has some of the world’s largest uranium supplies, and it also excels in the necessary process of converting it to enriched uranium, which then can be used as nuclear fuel. Commercial plants converting uranium operate in Russia, Canada, China and France, with Russia having the most infrastructure needed for the conversion……………..

Because of this, Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation—Russia’s collection of nuclear suppliers—provides a quarter of the U.S.’s nuclear fuel, and the United States continues to pay for the resource, spending a collective $1 billion last year, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

………………. In March, the U.S.’s first nuclear reactor in seven years started nuclear reactions in Georgia. CNBC reported that including the new reactor, there are 93 reactors throughout the United States providing a fifth of the nation’s energy. A quarter of the nuclear resources needed to power that energy is sourced from Rosatom.

U.S. companies are paying steeply for the resources needed to power its reactors, which means it is funding both Russia and Ukraine during the war…..


May 13, 2023 - Posted by | business and costs, USA

1 Comment »

  1. This is outrageous. Buying nuclear fuel, uranium from Russia. Either it is a total economic boycott or it won’t work. It is simply hypocritical. Economic sanctions won’t work if not total and enforced.

    Comment by paulrodenlearning | May 13, 2023 | Reply

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