Barrasso: Now is the Time to Stop Buying Russian Uranium & Ramp Up U.S. Production

April 28, 2022

Click here to watch Ranking Member Barrasso’s remarks.  

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR), delivered the following remarks at a business meeting to consider the nomination of Dr. Kathryn Huff to be assistant secretary for Nuclear Energy at the Department of Energy. Huff’s nomination was approved by the committee on a voice vote. 

To watch the full business meeting click here. 

Senator Barrasso’s remarks: 

“Thank you Mr. Chairman. 

“Today, our committee will consider Dr. Huff, who has been nominated to serve as assistant secretary for Nuclear Energy at the Department of Energy. 

“Dr. Huff appears to be extremely well qualified for this position. I agree with the comments you made, Mr. Chairman. 

“She holds a PhD in nuclear engineering and currently serves as a special advisor to the Energy secretary. 

“Before joining the Department, she was an assistant professor in the Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

“She has also worked with our national labs. 

“At her nomination hearing in early March, Dr. Huff testified, ‘It would be my honor to help the United States bolster and reclaim its global leadership in nuclear energy.’ 

“Now more than ever, it is critical that the Department work diligently to make America energy dominant again. 

“Nuclear technology is essential to meeting America’s energy, environmental, and national security objectives. 

“We need to be looking for opportunities to expand our use of nuclear energy.

“I believe Dr. Huff is ready to accept that responsibility. 

“Russia’s army is funded by the sale of energy. 

“That includes uranium. 

“Russia accounts for one third of the world’s uranium conversion. 

“It has half of the world’s uranium enrichment capacity. 

“Russia is our third leading supplier of uranium. 

“Its brutal attack on Ukraine has opened the world’s eyes. 

“We cannot be reliant on Russia for anything and certainly not for uranium. 

“Now is the time for the U.S. to stop buying Russian uranium. 

“Now is the time for us to ramp up domestic uranium production. 

“I believe Dr. Huff recognizes this opportunity and is prepared to act. 

“The Department of Energy needs to take immediate action to establish a strategic uranium reserve to ensure our existing reactors have the fuel they need. 

“We also cannot allow America’s advanced reactor developers to be dependent on Russia. 

“The Department of Energy needs to take immediate action to develop an American supply of high-assay, low-enriched uranium. 

“To meet these challenges, we need experienced leadership in place at the Office of Nuclear Energy. 

“I believe Dr. Huff is up to the task.

“Mr. Chairman, I will support her nomination today.”