'Disentangling' the global nuclear fuel supply chain after Russia's invasion of Ukraine

‘Disentangling’ the global nuclear fuel supply chain after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

In the world of nuclear energy, things rarely move quickly. Nuclear power reactors often take 10 years or more to license and build, and then can operate for six or more decades.

Nuclear fuel is only replaced in a reactor at most once a year, or every 18 or 24 months. Uranium can take more than a year to be mined, milled, converted to a gas form, enriched in fissile uranium-235 and fabricated into the fuel bundles that are lowered into reactors during refueling.

So while the impact of Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine on the world of nuclear fuel was not immediate, by nuclear standards it is proving exceedingly fast.Russia is a key global supplier of nuclear fuel, especially to the Eastern European countries that operate Soviet-designed nuclear plants, for which Russia’s state nuclear company is often the only supply option. But its long history as a […]

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