Thursday, June 1, 2023

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All of UK’s anti-Russian nuclear plans

All of UK's anti-Russian nuclear plans

The UK has opened a £75m fund to stimulate domestic production of nuclear fuel. All the details

UK is betting on domestic nuclear fuel to speed up detachment from Russia.

On Monday, the United Kingdom announced the opening of applications for its fund for the production of nuclear fuel, worth 75 million pounds (about 85 million euros).


The fund was announced last July and aims to stimulate domestic production of nuclear fuel for British plants, in order to reduce dependence on uranium supplies from Russia. Moscow, in fact, owns about 20 percent of the global capacity for converting uranium into fuel.


The fund will therefore award grants to companies involved in the conversion of uranium, a segment of the process of creating nuclear fuel from the raw metal. Applications will remain open until February 20th.


UK Energy and Climate Minister Graham Stuart said " record global gas prices , caused by Putin's illegal invasion of Ukraine, have highlighted the need to increase the 'home-grown renewable energy, but also nuclear power being generated in the UK, building more plants and developing domestic fuel capacity',

Stuart added that £13 million has already been drawn from the fund: it has been allocated to the nuclear fuel production site at Springfields in north-west England.


Energy security has become a priority in the UK and across Europe following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. By upgrading its nuclear power generation capacity, London wants to reduce its reliance on natural gas, which accounted for around 45 per cent of total power generation capacity in 2021.

Last November, British authorities said they would become 50 per cent shareholders in the Sizewell C nuclear project in south-east England, providing £700m in funding for the plant's development.


Thanks to its characteristics, which make it compatible with the objectives of reducing emissions, nuclear energy is experiencing a moment of great attention not only in Europe, but also in the United States and Asia.

However, nuclear power does not automatically eliminate the problem of dependence on Russia: in fact, it is estimated that Moscow alone controls 16 percent of the international supply of uranium (that is, the raw material for feeding the reactors), also taking into account of its interests in mines in Kazakhstan, which is the largest producer in the world.

– Read also: What Italy must do to reactivate nuclear energy

The lack of alternatives is the main reason for the absence of European sanctions on Russian uranium and the nuclear sector. Even France , which imports raw materials from other countries (Niger, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Australia), is not completely independent of Moscow: in fact, there is only one plant capable of recycling the uranium used in the fifty-six French reactors and it is Seversk, Siberia. It is owned by the Russian state nuclear company Rosatom.

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL on Tue, 03 Jan 2023 08:39:44 +0000.