home Demand, Supply, U DOE seeks domestic LEU supply contracts

DOE seeks domestic LEU supply contracts

The US Department of Energy has issued a request for proposals to purchase low-enriched uranium from domestic sources. The request is supported by USD2.7 billion from President Joe Biden’s Investing in America agenda to boost the domestic nuclear fuel supply chain.

Through this request for proposals, DOE will acquire low-enriched uranium (LEU) generated by new sources of domestic uranium enrichment capacity. These can include new enrichment facilities or projects that expand the capacity of existing enrichment facilities. DOE intends to sell the LEU to utilities operating US reactors to support clean energy generation and sever reliance on Russian imports.

DOE plans to award two or more contracts, which will last for up to 10 years.

“DOE is helping jumpstart uranium enrichment capacity here in the United States, which is critical to strengthening our national security and growing our domestic nuclear industry,” said US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm. “Today’s announcement underscores America’s commitment to remaining the global leader in nuclear energy for generations to come.”

“Strengthening our domestic nuclear fuel supply chain will be critical as we continue to move from an energy system reliant on foreign suppliers and fossil fuels to one that embraces cleaner sources of power and domestic manufacturing,” said Assistant to the President and National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi. “Under President Biden’s leadership, we have spurred an unprecedented expansion in clean energy production, which is creating good-paying union jobs and putting us on a path to greater energy security. Today’s announcement is exactly the kind of investment we need to further build and protect our nuclear energy supply and deliver the clean, affordable, reliable energy that our communities and industries are demanding.”

Developing domestic capacity for LEU ensures an adequate fuel supply is available from trusted sources to maintain the current fleet of US reactors and build a strong base to supply future deployments of cutting-edge nuclear technologies both at home and abroad, DOE said.

Last month, DOE issued details of the process for obtaining waivers to allow the import of limited quantities of Russian-origin LEU to ensure US nuclear plants do not experience supply disruptions when the recently signed prohibition law comes into force. The Prohibiting Russian Uranium Imports Act was signed into law by President Biden in mid-May and will go into effect on 11 August. The ban runs until the end of 2040, but the DOE may waive the ban, under certain conditions, to allow the import of limited amounts of material up until 1 January 2028.

Source: World Nuclear News