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US-produced uranium will not affect Rosatom contracts — expert

"All HALEU uranium produced in the US is now going into storage," Alexander Uvarov said

MOSCOW, April 21. /TASS/. The pilot production of uranium in the United States will not affect contracts of the Russian nuclear corporation Rosatom for the supply of uranium products, Alexander Uvarov, head of the Autonomous Non-Commercial Organization Atominfo Center, told TASS.

"For nuclear power plants, uranium with an enrichment of up to 5% is used, and it is this enriched uranium product that is supplied to the United States by Rosatom. HALEU uranium (High-assay low-enriched uranium - TASS) is enriched to 20% and is not used at modern nuclear power plants. It is believed that the need for HALEU uranium in the United States will arise in the future, in the 2030s and beyond," he said.

As Uvarov explained, such uranium "should be used in so-called advanced reactors," which are being developed by a number of private companies. However, according to him, the practical feasibility of these reactors has not yet been proven, and the only company that is taking the first practical steps for their possible construction is TerraPower, owned by Microsoft founder billionaire Bill Gates.

"Thus, the activities in the US for the pilot production of HALEU uranium do not have a direct impact on Rosatom’s contracts. All HALEU uranium produced in the US is now going into storage," he said.

Earlier US President Joe Biden announced that his country had produced the first 90 kg of enriched uranium. According to him, by the end of the year the United States expects to enrich about a ton of fuel for American nuclear reactors.