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A study released on 23 May from Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy assesses Russia’s dominance in some areas of the international nuclear supply chain. The authors also examine what can be done to reduce Russian influence.

Russia has exported more reactors in recent decades than any other supplier, write the authors. It is the 7th largest producer of uranium with the 4th largest recoverable resources. Perhaps most important, the country owns 40% of the world’s uranium conversion capacity and 46% of global enrichment capacity.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has motivated countries to lessen the role of the country’s fossil fuel supply in their energy sectors. An expansion of nuclear power could aid that process. But Russia’s role in international nuclear power might frustrate the broader objective of neutralizing the country’s ability to coerce its customers.

There are alternative sources of conversion and enrichment capacity, including Canada. However, significant investment will be necessary to increase both uranium mining and processing if Russia’s influence is to be reduced significantly.