US lectures India but pays billions to Russia for Uranium

Experts criticize the United States for double standards – by pressuring and lecturing countries like India on the purchase of Russia energy while continuing shopping to protect its own interests.

NEW DELHI | Updated: 16 June, 2023 2:44 pm IST
Experts say it will take over a decade for American to compete Russia in Uranium enrichment.

NEW DELHI: While it seeks to punish any country involved in transactions with Russia, the United States itself continues to pay around $1 billion annually to Moscow for enriched Uranium.

As per a New York Times report, Americans buy more than one-third of its enriched Uranium needs from Russia per year to power its nuclear power plants which generate over half of America’s emissions-free energy.

Washington pays this huge amount to the Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation which is said to be intertwined with Russia’s military-industrial complex supporting Moscow’s war in Ukraine.

Experts criticize the United States for double standards – by pressuring and lecturing countries like India on the purchase of Russia energy while continuing shopping to protect its own interests.

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To give it a context, the US used to dominate the uranium market but halted its enrichment activities after a deal with Russia following the Soviet Union’s collapse. As a result, the US relies on Russia for about a third of its enriched uranium, while the rest is imported from Europe.

The dependence on foreign enriched uranium leaves the US vulnerable to a potential Russian shutdown of uranium sales. However, US energy experts and lawmakers say that the successive US governments have been slow to initiate domestic enrichment, with potential federal funding stuck in bureaucratic processes.

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As the Russia-Ukraine war continue to drag in the second year, now demands are rising for the US to restart its own enrichment programme. But it remains a herculean task. US energy experts say that it can take the country more than a decade to achieve the efficiency and economic feasibility at part with the Russian Uranium enrichment capabilities.

One example of a company affected by the uranium reliance is TerraPower, founded by Bill Gates, which has delayed the opening of a new-age nuclear plant in the US state of Wyoming, by at least two years due to its commitment to avoid using Russian enriched uranium.

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