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Border package contains $2 billion for uranium enrichment

The Senate’s border and Ukraine spending package contains more than $2 billion in funds for uranium processing, as the U.S. works to reduce global reliance on Russian energy exports.

The text of the bill, released Sunday night, includes $2.72 billion in unspent grant funding for domestic uranium enrichment, with the goal of bolstering nuclear fuel development. Another $98 million would go to domestic isolation and production of isotopes, a major Russian export. The package would also put $149 million toward the National Nuclear Security Administration to respond to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Russia is the sixth largest producer of uranium worldwide. The Biden administration has made attempts to isolate the country as an energy exporter, and it is working to reduce general foreign reliance within the renewable energy supply chain.

The bill is almost certainly doomed in the House, where Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) has said it will not pass, while former President Trump, the likely GOP 2024 nominee, has called on Republicans to oppose it.

Its path in the Senate is also unclear, as it’s not yet certain the bill could garner the 60 votes required to send it to the House. Not only have Republicans objected to its Ukraine provisions, some Democrats in the progressive wing have also expressed objections to the amount of aid it provides to Israel amid criticism of the country’s prosecution of the war in Gaza.

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