US doubles uranium imports from Russia

RT 24 August 2023

Purchases are at their highest level since 2005, according to RIA Novosti analysis

The US bought 416 tons of uranium from Russia in the first half of the year, more than double the amount for the same period in 2022 and the highest level since 2005, RIA Novosti reported on Thursday, citing data from the US statistical service.

According to the report, Russia is supplying the US only with enriched uranium, a critical component for civil nuclear power generation.

RIA calculations show Washington paid $696.5 million for uranium deliveries from Russia, marking the highest value since 2002. Over the first half of the year, the cost of supplies increased by 2.5 times, and Russia’s share of American imports increased by 13 percentage points to 32%.

The US also significantly increased its purchases of uranium from the UK in the first half of this year, up 28% to $383.1 million, bringing it to just under 18% of all imports. Imports from France soared to $319 million (15% of US total imports), compared to $1.9 million for the same period in 2022.

Germany and Canada were also in the top five uranium suppliers to the US market, accounting for 13% and 11% of imports respectively.

According to a recent New York Times report, roughly a third of enriched uranium used in the US is imported from Russia. GHS Climate, a clean-energy consulting company, states that one out of every 20 American homes and businesses was powered by Russian uranium last year.

Nearly half of the world’s enriched uranium is produced in Russia, and US efforts to reduce its reliance on imports from the country have so far failed. American enrichment plants were shut down after the Cold War as it was significantly cheaper for importers to buy Russian uranium. Currently, only two US facilities – one in Ohio and the other in New Mexico – are licensed to produce high-grade nuclear fuel.

The US and the EU have sanctioned Russian oil, gas, and coal over the Ukraine conflict, but have continued to allow the purchase of enriched uranium from Russian state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom, as they race to cut reliance on fossil fuels.


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