The U.S. Is Paying Billions to Russia’s Nuclear Agency. Here’s Why.

Nuclear power companies rely on cheap enriched uranium made in Russia. That geopolitical dilemma is intensifying as climate change underscores the need for emissions-free energy.

By Max Bearak,

The United States’ reliance on nuclear power is primed to grow as the country aims to decrease reliance on fossil fuels. But no American-owned company enriches uranium. The United States once dominated the market, until a swirl of historical factors, including an enriched-uranium-buying deal between Russia and the United States designed to promote Russia’s peaceful nuclear program after the Soviet Union’s collapse, enabled Russia to corner half the global market. The United States ceased enriching uranium entirely.