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USA buys Russian uranium on a massive scale – despite sanctions

2024-02-22T04:23:18.654Z

Highlights: USA buys Russian uranium on a massive scale – despite sanctions. As of: February 22, 2024, 5:14 a.m By: Lars-Eric Nievelstein CommentsPressSplit The USA is leading the way in many of the sanctions that Western countries have imposed on Russia. However, the country has left itself a loophole when it comes to uranium. Trade is flourishing like never before. In 2023, more money will flow than ever before. This is how much the USA spent on Russian uranium in 2023.



As of: February 22, 2024, 5:14 a.m

By: Lars-Eric Nievelstein

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Press

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The USA is leading the way in many of the sanctions that Western countries have imposed on Russia.

However, the country has left itself a loophole when it comes to uranium.

Trade is flourishing like never before.

Washington – The Western world is trying to break away from Russian energy.

However, so far this has primarily applied to fossil energy, such as oil and natural gas.

When it comes to uranium, however, the USA has long been one of Russia's most important buyers.

The country needs uranium to advance the climate change.

In 2023, more money will flow than ever before.

This is how much the USA spent on Russian uranium in 2023

$1.19 billion

Total amount of imports from Russia to the USA

$4.57 billion (2023)

Share of global uranium enrichment sites in Russia

Almost 50 percent

USA is buying more uranium from Russia than ever before

701.8 tons, $1.19 billion.

This is what the short form of the trade balance of Russian uranium looks like in 2023.

According to the Census Bureau, part of the US Department of Commerce, the US bought more uranium from Russia than ever since purchases began in the 1990s.

A year earlier (2022) the amount was $830 million.

View of the Leibstadt nuclear power plant.

The USA is leading the way in many of the sanctions that Western countries have imposed on Russia.

However, the country has left itself a loophole when it comes to uranium.

© IMAGO / dieBildmanufaktur

Immediately after the start of the Ukraine war, the USA banned the import of products such as oil, diamonds and marine products.

Import tariffs of 35 percent for steel, aluminum and wood followed later.

However, nuclear fuels, mineral fertilizers and metals of the platinum group were excluded.

After the Russian invasion of Crimea, the USA began to significantly reduce its imports from Russia.

In 2022 these were worth $14.44 billion; a year later it was still $4.57 billion.

This was reported by the

world

.

Nuclear power for the energy transition

There are two big problems for the USA: Firstly, Russia controls almost 50 percent of the world's uranium enrichment capacity; secondly, America is dependent on nuclear energy, especially as part of the energy transition.

Even under former President Barack Obama, the USA increasingly focused on the expansion of nuclear power.

The goal: They wanted to become less dependent on climate-damaging energy.

As a fuel, uranium is responsible for more than half of the emission-free energy.

Uranium will continue to play an important role in achieving climate protection goals in the future.

Because the USA has a lot of nuclear power plants but hardly ever enriches uranium itself, it is difficult for it to break away from Russia.

That doesn't stop the country from trying anyway.

In December, the US House of Representatives approved a ban on the import of Russian uranium.

In this way, the government is trying to increase the sanctions pressure on warmonger Russia.

However, there is an option for waivers in the event that US reactors experience supply difficulties.

The corresponding law still has to pass the Senate; President Joe Biden's signature would finalize the whole thing.

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USA wants to reactivate the nuclear industry

There are now several courses of action for the USA.

One is to stimulate its own industry, which has atrophied in recent decades.

The US nuclear industry wants to end its dependence on Russian enrichment.

It receives support from countries such as the United Kingdom, France and Japan.

By 2050, these countries want to triple their nuclear industry, the

Financial Times

reported .

Private investors, including Bill Gates and Sam Altman from OpenAI, are supporting start-ups that build so-called Small Modular Reactors (SMRs).

Breaking away from Russia could take years, but the US is convinced it has to take this step.

A second possible option would be to switch to other suppliers.

For example, the British company Urenco came forward and stated that it could fully cover the USA's needs and replace Russia.

Since 2022, many Western countries have used sanctions against Russia, targeting companies, institutions and individuals.

Vladimir Putin himself is also affected by this.

According to the latest findings, Russia is currently in an early stage of economic decline.

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2024-02-22

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