How USA is Dependent on Russia| Nuclear Fuel

USA Dependent on Russia for nuclear fuel

USA is dependent on Russian Uranium. US increasingly becoming dependent on nuclear power in the wake of the energy crisis sparked by the Russia-Ukraine conflict. American firms have been focusing on developing small nuclear reactors, as it is being viewed as a clean source of power.

But even before these firms could begin work on it, they have already encountered a major stumbling block. Apparently, only one company sells the high assoy low enriched uranium (HALEU), and it’s a Russian.

Russia’s Monopoly:

Russia has long been a monopoly on HALEU-something that has concerned Washington for several years. Currently, only TENEX, which is part of the Russion stateowned nuclear energy company Rosatom, sells the fuel commercially.

In the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the US goverment and companies have become hesitant to rely on Moscow for their supply needs. Responding to the matter, a US Department of Energy spokesperson told Reuters news agency that the government has already started looking for alternative suppliers.

American nuclear energy business representatives asked President Joe Biden not to ban imports of Russian uranium in order to avoid higher electricity prices. As a result, uranium imports were indeed not banned unlike oil, petroleum products, gas and coal.

Why USA can’t give up Russian Uranium

Historical Dependence

The US has been buying relatively inexpensive Russian uranium for over 30 years. From 1993 to 2013, they used Russion weapons-grade uranium as fuel under the HEU. LEU contract signed by Boris Yeltsin. As a reciprocal gesture that was agreed upon, the Russian Federation destroyed 20.000 of its nuclear warheads and received $17 billion from the Americans.

If you want to know how Siberia-is the Economic Weapon of Russia, click here.

Moscow’s Exclusive Capacity

Without Moscow, the US nuclear power industry would collapse in 1-1.5 years. The US nuclear power plants, unlike Canadian ones, will not be able to operate without three to four percent enriched uranium.

The analyst specified that today the US has 96 operational nuclear reactors, but the country has no isotope separation facilities of its own. Nearly half of the world’s uranium separation facilities are located in Russia. This number is excessive for Moscow and this is why a considerable part of them is focused on America’s needs.

Searching for Alternatives:

What would give nuclear energy a major boost would be a significant technological breakthrough in substituting thorium for uranium in reactors. Thorium is now being billed as the ‘great green hope’ of clean energy production that produces less waste and more energy than uranium, is meltdown-proof, has no weapons-grade by-products.

(CCTE) to develop a new thorium-based nuclear fuel they have dubbed ANEEL. ANEEL (Advanced Nuclear Energy for Enriched Life) is a proprietary combination of thorium and “High Assay Low Enriched Uranium” (HALEU) that intends to address high costs and taxic waste issues.

Kazakhs now produce the most uranium in the world. Together with Uzbekistan, they account for approximately 50 percent of global uranium mining. However, everyone knows about the friendly relations between Russia and Kazakhstan.

Sodhi Gautam

Sodhi Gautam

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