Ranking Member Barrasso Leads Legislation to Establish Strategic Uranium Reserve

March 31, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR), along with Senators Roger Marshall (R-KS), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), and Kevin Cramer (R-ND) introduced the National Opportunity to Restore Uranium Supply Services In America (NO RUSSIA) Act of 2022.

This legislation will authorize the Department of Energy (DOE) to establish a national strategic uranium reserve. It will also increase domestic uranium production, conversion, and enrichment to ensure existing U.S. nuclear reactors have sufficient fuel to continue operating. 

“Having access to American produced uranium is critical to both our energy and national security,” said Barrasso. “We cannot be reliant on our adversaries for fuel we have here at home. My legislation will jumpstart America’s nuclear fuel supply chain. It will increase demand for Wyoming uranium and ensure America will always have the fuel it needs to power our nuclear reactors.” 

Read the text of the bill here

Background Information:

On March 17, 2022, Barrasso was joined by Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Roger Marshall (R-KS) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND) in introducing legislation to ban imports of Russian uranium. 

On March 25, 2021, ENR held a hearing that highlighted opportunities to strengthen U.S. competitiveness in nuclear energy, including by reinvigorating our domestic nuclear fuel supply chain. 

On December 21, 2020, Congress passed a government funding bill that included key provisions from Barrasso’s bipartisan bill to extend and expand limits on Russian uranium imports. It also included $75 million in funding for a national uranium reserve. 

On September 14, 2020, Barrasso released a statement on the Department of Commerce’s preliminary deal to limit Russian uranium imports through 2040. The Department of Commerce previously found the Russian Federation was undercutting the uranium market, which harms America’s uranium producers. 

On May 20, 2020, Barrasso and Sens. Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Mike Braun (R-IN), Tom Udall (D-NM), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Tom Cotton (R-AR), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) sent a letter to Department of Commerce Assistant Secretary Jeffrey Kessler calling on the department to extend the Russian Suspension Agreement (RSA), as recommended by the Nuclear Fuel Working Group (NFWG).

On April 23, 2020, Barrasso issued a statement on the release of the NFWG’s report titled “Restoring America’s Competitive Nuclear Energy Advantage: A Strategy to Assure U.S. National Security.”

On July 13, 2019, President Trump established the NFWG following his final decision regarding the Section 232 investigation. The NFWG was tasked with giving recommendations to the president on how to reinvigorate domestic nuclear fuel production.