US DOC, Rosatom finalise uranium agreement, says law firm

06 October 2020

The US Department of Commerce and Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom have finalised their agreement to extend theĀ Agreement Suspending the Antidumping Investigation on Uranium from the Russian Federation, to 2040, Hogan Lovells said yesterday. The Washington D.C., USA-based law firm represented enrichment services supplier Urenco USA Inc in its effort to extend the agreement, which has governed trade between the two countries in uranium products since 1992.

Urenco USA Inc is one of the companies that urged an extension to the agreement (Image: Urenco USA Inc)

Amendments to the agreement include phased reductions of US imports of uranium from Russia as well as the periodic updating of the import quotas.

"We were glad to be able to help bring about a successful extension to this important trade agreement on behalf of our client," said Hogan Lovells partner Jared Wessel. "The new agreement will serve as an important backbone for US and Russian uranium trade for the next two decades."

In May this year, a bipartisan group of US Senators called for the DOC to extend the Russian Suspension Agreement, as recommended by the Nuclear Fuel Working Group. In their letter, the senators called for DOC to reduce imports of Russian uranium to below existing limits, which they said will protect the USA's natural uranium fuel supply chain from "aggressive and illegal trade practices of nuclear state-owned enterprises of foreign adversaries".

According to the draft of the agreement that the DOC published last month, the annual export limits for 2021-2040 decrease from 596,682 kgU as LEU at a product assay of 4.4% and a  tails assay of 0.3%, and 26,254 in kg U-235 content in 2021, to 267,685 kgU as LEU and 11,778 kg U-235 in 2040. These figures correspond to 24% and 15%, respectively, of US enrichment demand.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News