The initiative is designed to encourage increased uranium production in the United States.
The US Department of Commerce on Monday signed a draft agreement with the Russian state Corporation Rosatom to reduce uranium imports from Russia over the next 20 years to encourage increased uranium production in the United States and the development of American nuclear power.
The document is an amendment to the agreement adopted in 1992 on suspending the anti-dumping investigation into the supply of uranium from Russia. It extends the agreement until 2040, and also provides for a gradual reduction in the quota for uranium imports from Russia from 20 to 15 percent, starting in 2028.
“If approved, the agreement will help restore America’s advantage in nuclear power and protect the domestic industry from dumping Russian uranium,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said.
The interagency working group recommended the amendment on nuclear fuel in response to Washington’s concern about the loss of leadership in nuclear technology. The initiative is intended to serve as an incentive for American atomic power producers and uranium mining companies suffering from a lack of investment.
The amendment will allow US companies to keep in force existing contracts for the purchase of uranium from Russia.
The Ministry of Commerce plans to finalize the amendment by October 5 and will accept comments until September 28.
President Donald Trump created the working group last July after rejecting a request by the US uranium mining companies Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy to impose quotas on domestic uranium production to protect them from foreign competition.