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Russia to sell uranium to U.S. utilities

Commerce Dept. agreement permits Russia to supply 20% of U.S. reactor fuel until 2020

Posted February 2, 2008



U.S. government officials announced yesterday the signing of a long-term agreement allowing Russia to sell enriched uranium directly to U.S. utility companies.  It is unkown how this increase in the supply of nuclear reactor fuel will affect uranium prices and the need for new uranium mines such as Powertech's proposed Centennial Project.  Powertech officials have repeatedly insisted that the company would sell Colorado-mined uranium only to U.S. utilities and would not sell to foreign companies.





United States of America

Department of Commerce


Press Release




Friday, February 1, 2008




Senior U.S., Russian Officials Sign Agreement On Uranium from Russia

HERNDON, VA—U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez and Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency (Rosatom) Director Sergey Kiriyenko signed a long-term suspension agreement governing trade in nuclear fuel. This Agreement will provide U.S. utilities with a reliable supply of nuclear fuel by allowing Russia to export to the U.S., while minimizing any disruption to the United States' domestic enrichment industry.

“The Agreement will encourage bilateral trade in Russian uranium products for peaceful purposes,” said Gutierrez. “It will also help to ensure that U.S. utilities have an adequate source of enriched uranium for U.S. utility consumers. Commerce intends to implement the full effectiveness of the Agreement.”

The Agreement allows for sales of Russian uranium products directly to U.S. utility companies under a quota for Russian exports during 2014 and 2020. The Russian Federation will also be able to export smaller quantities of uranium products during the years 2011 through 2013.

Prior to today’s Agreement, Russia was unable to sell enriched uranium products to U.S. utilities. This Agreement allows Russia to make direct sales of commercial Russian enriched uranium products to U.S. utilities, while minimizing any disruption in the development and completion of new enrichment facilities in the United States.

The Agreement is the result of a long and complex negotiation between the U.S. and Russian governments.

The Agreement was signed at Dulles International Airport at 9:00 p.m. to accommodate Secretary Gutierrez’s and Minister Kiriyenko’s traveling schedules.

A suspension agreement is essentially a settlement of an ongoing dumping investigation and suspends applicable dumping tariffs. Currently, the only Russian uranium product allowed into the United States for consumption in nuclear reactors is low-enriched uranium down-blended from bomb-grade material, which is sold indirectly to U.S. utilities via an agent of the U.S. government. To ensure an affordable source of energy and to facilitate investment in nuclear energy, the United States and Russia have now agreed to allow for direct sales of commercial Russian uranium products to U.S. utilities. Commerce and Rosatom officials initialed the draft Agreement in November 2007 and released that draft for public comment. The Agreement, which has been under negotiation for two years, permits Russia to supply 20 percent of U.S. reactor fuel until 2020 and to supply the fuel for new reactors quota-free. The Agreement permits Russia to sell enriched uranium directly to U.S. utilities. After considering the comments received, Commerce signed the finalized Agreement today with Rosatom.

For more information, please visit www.commerce.gov.




Russia, United States sign uranium deal

United Press International - February 2, 2008