The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced an investment of $2.7bn from President Joe Biden’s Investing in America agenda to strengthen the nuclear fuel supply chain in the country.

In line with this, the DOE has issued a request for proposal (RFP) to buy low-enriched uranium (LEU) from domestic sources.

According to the department, the move will encourage the safe and responsible expansion of uranium enrichment capacity in the US.

It will also enhance market diversity and ensure a reliable supply of commercial nuclear fuel. This will facilitate energy security and resilience for Americans and domestic industries, independent of Russian influence, said the department.

The DOE plans to acquire low-enriched uranium generated by new sources of domestic uranium enrichment capacity through the new RFP. This will encompass new enrichment facilities or projects that expand the capacity of existing enrichment facilities.

Besides, the department aims to sell the low-enriched uranium to utilities operating US reactors to underpin clean energy generation and reduce dependency on Russian imports.

The government agency will also award two or more contracts that will last for up to 10 years.

US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said: “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.

“Today’s announcement underscores America’s commitment to remaining the global leader in nuclear energy for generations to come.”   

Last month, President Biden signed the Prohibiting Russian Uranium Imports Act which instituted a ban on importing low-enriched uranium from Russia.

In January this year, the DOE signed the credit award and payment agreement to finalise terms for the $1.1bn credit payments for the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in California under the Civil Nuclear Credit (CNC) programme.