Lawmakers look to build momentum for Russian uranium ban

By Nico Portuondo | 03/11/2024 06:24 AM EDT

A House committee will hold a hearing this week on Russian uranium imports as legislation to ban them remains stalled.

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas).

House Foreign Affairs Chair Michael McCaul (R-Texas) has spoken out against U.S. dependence on Russian uranium imports for nuclear energy fuel. Francis Chung/POLITICO

A House Foreign Affairs panel will discuss the influence of Russian uranium on the domestic nuclear sector this week as a bipartisan initiative to ban Russian fuel remains in limbo.

Most lawmakers and witnesses appearing before the Subcommittee on Europe hearing — titled Going Nuclear on Rosatom: Ending Global Dependence on Putin’s Nuclear Energy Sector” — agree that Russia’s state nuclear company Rosatom is having a malign influence on America and its geopolitical allies.

“Rosatom’s position in the global market is only getting stronger,” full committee Chair Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and other top House Republicans said in a letter to Biden administration officials last year. “The longer we wait to act, the more difficult it will be to address Rosatom’s nefarious and malign dealings.”


American reactors are still using Russian uranium for about 20 percent of their fuel needs, and the United States lacks any commercial homegrown supply of the special type of uranium needed for upcoming advanced reactors. Lawmakers from both parties and the nuclear industry are keen to reduce that dependence as soon as possible.