Joe Biden Signs Law Banning Uranium Imports From Russia to Revive America's Nuclear Fuel Industry

By Jace Dela Cruz

May 14, 2024 03:35 AM EDT

President Joe Biden signed a bipartisan bill on Monday that bans imports of enriched uranium from Russia to cut off a substantial financial flow amid the ongoing war in Ukraine. Uranium is the fuel most used by nuclear power plants. 

President Biden Speaks At Gateway Technical College In Wisconsin
STURTEVANT, WISCONSIN - MAY 08: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks to guests during an event at Gateway Technical College’s iMet Center on May 08, 2024 in Sturtevant, Wisconsin.
(Photo : Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Joe Biden Signs Bill That Bans Uranium Imports From Russia

Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Congress quickly banned Russian oil and gas imports. However, sanctions on uranium imports took longer due to Russia supplying about 20 percent of US nuclear fuel.

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan noted that the new law enhances the nation's energy and economic security by reducing reliance on Russian nuclear power. The legislation also unlocks some $2.7 billion in federal funding approved by Congress to boost local uranium supplies for US nuclear plants.

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The Prohibiting Russian Uranium Imports Act

The law also aligns with multilateral measures set with the US allies, including a December pledge by Canada, France, Japan, and the United Kingdom to invest $4.2 billion in enhancing uranium enrichment and conversion capacity in respective countries. 

"The Prohibiting Russian Uranium Imports Act demonstrates the impact and innovation we can achieve through bipartisan cooperation. We are grateful to Congress for its continued support for civil nuclear energy as a vital part of our efforts to build a clean economy in the United States," Sullivan said in a statement

"Under President Biden's leadership, we will continue to work together to realize both our climate and energy security imperatives," he added.

The new law will take effect 90 days after it is enacted but will allow nuclear reactor operators to continue importing until 2028 if they do not have any other possible supplier.

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