DOE to provide $2.7B for domestic nuclear fuel supply chain

Published on July 01, 2024 by Daily Energy Insider Reports

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With money drawn from President Joe Biden’s Investing in America agenda, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently opened a request for proposals (RFP) for $2.7 billion to bolster domestic nuclear fuel supply sources.

The DOE intends to use this money to purchase low-enriched uranium (LEU) from domestic sources, as a way to build up uranium enrichment capacity and guarantee reliability of commercial nuclear fuel. It also explicitly stated the goal of removing Russian influence from the market. Relations between the two nations have continued to deteriorate over Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

“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,” Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said. “Today’s announcement underscores America’s commitment to remaining the global leader in nuclear energy for generations to come.”

Proposals for this new solicitation could include new enrichment facilities or projects that expand the capacity of existing enrichment facilities. The DOE will sell acquired LEU to utilities operating domestic reactors as encouragement, and to remove Russian imports from the market. Applicants would, however, need to deliver local benefits for impacted communities and prioritize environmental justice.

At least two contracts will likely be awarded, to last for up to 10 years. Proposals are due on Aug. 16, 2024.