West breaking free of reliance on Russia for nuclear fuel

Featured in The Times

Nuclear Fuel Supply


Eight decades later another conflict, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, has revealed a starkly different state of affairs in the modern supply of nuclear fuels. Just as Europe became dependent on Russian gas, America and some other Nato states have developed a heavy reliance on Russia for the enriched uranium they need to keep their nuclear plants running. Tellingly, the trade was not subject to sanctions after the invasion of Ukraine but western governments and companies are scrambling to fill the gap by rebuilding their own industrial capability, an uncertain process that is expected to take several years. “This is a cautionary tale, not just for the nuclear industry, but energy policy in general,” Darya Dolzikova, a research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute’s proliferation and nuclear policy programme, said.