Nuclear Security & Deterrence Monitor Vol. 28 No. 11
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Nuclear Security & Deterrence Monitor
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March 15, 2024

House members working on partisan Rosatom sanctions bills

By Dan Leone

Leaders of a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee said Tuesday they are working on dueling bills to sanction either all, or parts, of Russia’s state-owned nuclear-energy corporation.

“I am in the process of drafting a tough sanctions bill that would mandate the administration decouple the U.S. and our allies from Rosatom,” Rep. Tom Kean (R-N.J.) said March 12 during a Rosatom-focused hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Europe subcommittee.

Kean said his bill, the text of which he had not published as of Friday morning, would complement the Prohibiting Russian Uranium Imports Act that the House passed in December. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-Wash.), chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, wrote that bill.

McMorris Rodgers’ bill would prohibit U.S. imports of Russian low-enriched uranium but allow importers to get waivers to continue buying or selling Russian uranium until 2028.

“These two bills together will set a much-needed market signal to the civil nuclear industry. The result will be a safer supply of nuclear fuel for the U.S. and its allies,” Keating said.

Rep. Bill Keating (D-Mass.), the ranking Democrat on the subcommittee, was not quite sold on Keating’s proposition.

“I’ve worked with the ranking member of the full committee, [Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.)], on legislation to sanction Rosatom officials who undermine [Ukrain’s Russian-occupied] Zaporizhzhia [Nuclear Power Station’s] stability and hold them accountable for the destabilizing actions they conduct,” Keating said during the hearing.

Russia again invaded Ukraine in February 2022 and has since occupied the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

Keating, who had not published his sanctions bills as of Friday, said he supported “further sanctions, where appropriate.”

However, instead of supporting Kean’s Keating urged the full House to vote on a national security supplemental appropriations bill that the Senate in February passed by a vote of 70 to 29.

The Senate-passed bill, which Speaker of the House Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) has refused to take up until Congress passes U.S. immigration reform legislation, includes some $2.7 billion in subsidies to jumpstart a new domestic uranium refining industry.

A 2024 appropriations package signed into law last week provided $3.7 billion in funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act for the Department of Energy “to support small modular reactors and domestic uranium enrichment.”

The U.S. government has already sanctioned several Rosatom subsidiaries, but not Rosatom itself. 

Sanctioned Rosatom subsidiaries, according to State Department press releases, include: 

AEM Propulsion, which according to State “is involved in the production and supply of elements of propulsion systems for ships of various purposes and classes.”

NPO KIS, which was established in 2022 and “is involved in the production and procurement of various microelectronics,” State said.

Rusatom Overseas JSC, Rosatom’s overseas business development subsidiary, and its president, Evgeny Pakermanov.

The Kovrov Mechanical Plant PJSC, in Kovrov, Vladimir Oblast, Russia, about 175 miles east by road from Moscow. The plant manufactures “gas centrifuges and also offers special nuclear equipment components and accessories,” according to a State press release.

Vladimir Tochmash Joint Stock Company in Vladimir, Vladimir Oblast, Russia, about 120 miles east by road from Moscow. The company makes “specialty equipment for use in gas centrifuges and nuclear power facilities,” according to State.

The JSC Nauchno-Issledovatelsky i Konstruktorsky Institut Montazhnoy Tekhnologii Atomstroy. The company, also called NIKIMIT, is Rosatom’s nuclear decommissioning subsidiary.

Russia’s Federal Scientific and Production Center “M.V. Protsenko Start Production Association.” According to State, the center is part of Russia’s defense industry and “advertises that it develops and produces complex technologies for nuclear facilities.”

The Federal State Unitary Enterprise Hydrographic Company, which State says is “a wholly owned Russian subsidiary of Rosatom and the owner and operator of one of the largest dredging fleets in Russia.” The company helps with offshore oil and gas development.

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