Britain to allocate £300 million for production of nuclear fuel

Britain is investing in nuclear fuel to oust Russia from the world market (photo: Getty Images) © RBC-Ukraine (CA)

The United Kingdom is planning to invest £300 million in a new program for the production of modern nuclear fuel with the aim of displacing Russia from the global energy market, according to a statement from the UK government.

“Britain gave the world its first operational nuclear power plant, and now we will be the first nation in Europe outside of Russia to produce advanced nuclear fuel,” said Energy Minister Claire Coutinho.

The British government asserts that the new investments will help support the domestic production of high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU) – a type of fuel currently produced on an industrial scale only by Russia.

“The launch of the HALEU programme will enable the UK to supply the world with specialist nuclear fuel and further isolate Putin’s Russia,” according to a statement from the country’s Department of Energy Security.

The first production plant is planned to be launched in the early 2030s in the northwest of England.

The country envisions a central role in the revival of nuclear energy in its long-term energy strategy, emphasizing the development of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs). These reactors are expected to be lighter and more cost-effective in production.

Sanctions against the nuclear sector of the Russian Federation

Rosatom is one of the main suppliers of nuclear fuel to European countries, crucial for the operation of nuclear power plants.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for the European Union to impose sanctions on the Russian nuclear industry back in early 2023.

However, according to reports, the European Union likely increased its purchase of nuclear fuel from Russia in 2023 compared to pre-war levels. Data from the Euratom Agency indicates that countries such as Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, and Slovakia continue to import Russian nuclear fuel.

On December 14, the U.S. Congress supported a bill prohibiting the purchase of nuclear fuel from Russia.

Source: RBC Ukraine