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Russian Sanctions Could Impact US Uranium Supply

Russian lawmakers have drafted legislation that will allow the country to ban or restrict imports of a slew of US goods and services, Reuters reported last Friday (April 13). 

The move is a response to US sanctions imposed on April 6, and the restrictions could apply to a whole host of items, including beverages like tea, coffee and alcohol, pharmaceutical products and technological equipment and software.

They also have the potential to impact the US uranium market. According to Platts, the draft bill, which could be adopted this week, calls for a halt in trade between US nuclear power companies and Russia’s state-owned nuclear company Rosatom.

Platts notes that Rosatom has several projects with US companies. For example, its nuclear fuel division has a contract to supply test batches of its TVS-K fuel assemblies at pressurized water reactors in US; delivery is set to begin in 2019.

Additionally, Rosatom’s uranium subsidiary has signed contracts to export enriched uranium to the US.

Former Cantor Fitzgerald uranium analyst Rob Chang commented on Twitter, “[t]his could be huge.” Chang is currently CFO of Riot Blockchain (NASDAQ:RIOT) and a board member of Ur-Energy (TSX:URE,NYSE:URG) and Fission Uranium (TSX:FCU).

Uranium expert Mike Alkin of the Stock Catalyst Report also commented on the news, pointing to a talk he gave earlier this year. In that talk he described Russia as a “geopolitical wildcard,” and explained that the US uses 50 million pounds of uranium a year, and currently imports 95 percent of that uranium.

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