Barrasso Introduces Bill to Secure American Fuel for Advanced Nuclear Reactors

April 7, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR), introduced the Fueling Our Nuclear Future Act of 2022. 

This legislation will ensure a domestic supply of high-assay, low-enriched uranium (HALEU) for advanced nuclear reactors. It will direct the Department of Energy (DOE) to prioritize establishing a domestic HALEU enrichment capability. It will also direct DOE to make HALEU available from their inventories to ensure advanced reactors have the fuel they need until U.S. commercial enrichment is available. 

“America is developing the world’s most advanced nuclear reactors. The Department of Energy must take steps to ensure these reactors have an alternative to Russian uranium,” said Barrasso. “My legislation will help the Department and our commercial sector make a supply of American high-assay, low-enriched uranium available. This supply will be used to power advanced nuclear reactors like TerraPower’s Natrium reactor in my home state of Wyoming. It’s time for the United States to reestablish itself as the global leader in nuclear energy.” 

Read the text of the Fueling Our Nuclear Future Act of 2022 here.

Background Information:

On March 31, 2022, Barrasso was joined by Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Roger Marshall (R-KS), and Kevin Cramer (R-ND) in introducing the National Opportunity to Restore Uranium Supply Services In America (NO RUSSIA) Act of 2022. The NO RUSSIA Act will authorize DOE to establish a national strategic uranium reserve and take additional actions, as necessary, to ensure a domestic supply of fuel for existing nuclear reactors. 

On March 17, 2022, during the nomination hearing for Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy at the Department of Energy, Barrasso secured Dr. Kathryn Huff’s commitment to work to ensure a domestic supply of uranium for America’s existing and advanced reactors. 

On March 16, 2022, Barrasso, Lummis, Marshall, and Cramer introduced legislation to ban imports of Russian uranium. 

On December 1, 2021, during the Opening Plenary of the American Nuclear Society’s Winter Meeting, Barrasso warned against reliance on Russia to fuel advanced nuclear reactors and called for the Department of Energy to take immediate action to ensure a domestic nuclear fuel supply. 

On June 15, 2021, during a hearing on DOE’s fiscal year 2022 budget request, Barrasso discussed the importance of establishing a domestic HA-LEU capability.

On April 30, 2021, Barrasso sent a letter to the Deputy Secretary of Energy urging the Department to take swift action to establish the strategic uranium reserve and to establish a domestic HA-LEU supply. 

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.