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The US approves legislation to ban imports of Russian enriched uranium

The US Government has approved a legislation to ban imports of Russian uranium. The “Prohibiting Russian Uranium Imports Act” will ban the importation into the US of low-enriched uranium (LEU) produced in Russia or by a Russian entity. 

In late April 2024, the US Senate passed the measure by unanimous consent, after the bill was approved by the House of Representatives in December 2023. The legislation will ban the imports 90 days after enactment. The bill also frees up US$2.7bn passed in previous legislation to build out the US’ domestic uranium processing industry. 

In addition to banning the import of Russian-produced LEU, the bill also prohibits the import of LEU that has been swapped for the banned uranium or otherwise obtained in a manner designed to circumvent the ban's restrictions. However, the US Department of Energy may waive the ban if it determines that no alternative viable source of LEU is available to sustain the continued operation of a nuclear reactor. 

According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), US nuclear power plants imported around 12% of their uranium from Russia in 2022.

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