US spent over $1 billion on Russian uranium – media

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The sanctioned country reportedly reemerged as America’s top supplier of the nuclear fuel

The US imported more than $1 billion worth of Russian uranium from January through November 2023, RIA Novosti reported on Monday, citing data from the US statistics service.

In November alone, Russian exports of the nuclear fuel to the US amounted to $96 million. That made the sanctions-hit nation the biggest provider of uranium to America for the first time since May, when supplies totaled $177 million.

Other major uranium suppliers to the US include the UK and Japan, whose exports amounted to around $48.6 million and $44 million respectively in November. Supplies from Belgium totaled $2.4 million in the same period, while overall US imports of uranium amounted to nearly $191 million in November.

Last week, the US Department of Energy said authorities are seeking bids from contractors to help establish a domestic supply of uranium fuel enriched to higher levels for use in the next generation of reactors. The plan is expected to help the US find alternative suppliers of the fuel, which is currently only available in commercial levels from Russia.

In December, the US House of Representatives passed a ban on imports of Russian uranium as part of the sanctions campaign against Moscow over the Ukraine conflict. The bill must pass the Senate and be signed by the president before becoming law.

According to data tracked by the US Energy Information Administration, the country’s nuclear power plants imported about 12% of their uranium from Russia in 2022, compared to 27% from Canada and 25% from Kazakhstan. About 5% of uranium used in the US during that period was sourced domestically.

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