Russia says U.S. ban on Russian nuclear fuel will harm global market

By Thomson Reuters May 14, 2024 | 9:13 AM

By Anastasia Lyrchikova

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom said on Tuesday that a U.S. ban on Russian nuclear fuel was discriminatory political move that would undermine the global market for enriched uranium but said it would continue to develop its global business.

President Joe Biden signed into law a ban on Russian enriched uranium on Monday, the White House said. About 24% of the enriched uranium used by U.S. nuclear power plants comes from Russia.

“We consider the recently enacted U.S. law banning the import of Russian enriched uranium as discriminatory and non-market-oriented,” Rosatom said in a written statement to Reuters.

“Rosatom maintains its strong position as a global leader in nuclear technologies and will continue to develop relations with foreign partners interested in long-term cooperation.”

Rosatom said in 2022 that it was the world’s biggest player in enriched uranium with 35% of the world market as well as holding the world’s second largest uranium reserves and being the world’s second largest uranium producer.

The Kremlin said the U.S. decision to ban Russian fuel was not critical for Russia but said that the Americans, when they found it difficult to compete with Russia, reached for measures which distorted and undermined the norms of global markets.

“This is nothing more than unfair competition,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. “Our nuclear industry is one of the most advanced in the world, it is extremely competitive, and we will continue to develop this industry.”

Rosatom said the U.S. decision was “harmful to the sustainable functioning of the global market for nuclear fuel cycle products and services.”

Russia is currently boosting the share of nuclear energy in its energy production. The share of nuclear is projected to reach 25% by 2045 from 20% currently, according to Rosatom.

(Reporting by Anastasia Lyrchikova and Dmitry Antonov; Editing by Guy Faulconbridge)