Manchin, Barrasso and Risch Introduce Bipartisan Nuclear Fuel Security Act

February 15, 2023

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, John Barrasso (R-WY), Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Jim Risch (R-ID) introduced the Nuclear Fuel Security Act (NFSA). The bipartisan legislation directs the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to establish a nuclear fuel program with the purpose of onshoring nuclear fuel production to ensure a disruption in Russian uranium supply would not impact the development of advanced reactors or the operation of the United States’ light-water reactor fleet.

“American energy security and independence is impossible when we continue to rely on Russia and Vladimir Putin for the uranium we need to power our nuclear reactors. Russia’s war against Ukraine has drastically disrupted energy supply chains around the world, and now is the time to take a hard look at how we source the raw materials necessary to power our nation and develop advanced energy technologies. This bill will help to start that process by directing the Secretary of Energy to establish a program that will expand both our uranium conversion and enrichment capacity to meet our domestic fuel needs. No matter what Russia does, the United States should always be ready and able to supply nuclear fuel for ourselves and our friends and allies,” said Chairman Manchin.

“It’s time for America to ramp up uranium production so we can eliminate our dependence on Russia,” said Ranking Member Barrasso. “We are stronger and safer as a nation when our nuclear fuel supply chain starts at home. Our bipartisan legislation will strengthen American energy security. It will ensure our existing reactors and advanced reactors – like TerraPower’s Natrium reactor – have access to American uranium. I am thankful to Chairman Manchin and Senator Risch for their partnership on this critical effort.”

“Enriched uranium is key to unlocking the boundless potential for clean and reliable nuclear energy. Just as importantly, it’s a pillar of American national security. Unfortunately, the U.S. lacks capacity to fully produce enriched uranium, and it has resulted in an unsafe reliance on Russia—a bad actor who could cut off uranium exports to us at any time. I am proud to work with Senators Manchin and Barrasso on legislation to increase uranium production in the U.S., reduce dependence on Russia, and diminish Russian domination of the global nuclear fuel supply chain,” said Senator Risch.

To read the legislation, please click here.