"WASHINGTON — The U.S. and its European allies are importing vast amounts of nuclear fuel and compounds from Russia, providing Moscow with hundreds of millions of dollars in badly needed revenue as it wages war on Ukraine.
The sales, which are legal and unsanctioned, have raised alarms from nonproliferation experts and elected officials who say the imports are helping to bankroll the development of Moscow’s nuclear arsenal and are complicating efforts to curtail Russia’s war-making abilities. The dependence on Russian nuclear products — used mostly to fuel civilian reactors — leaves the U.S. and its allies open to energy shortages if Russian President Vladimir Putin were to cut off supplies. The challenge is likely to grow more intense as those nations seek to boost production of emissions-free electricity to combat climate change.
“We have to give money to the people who make weapons? That’s absurd,” said Henry Sokolski, executive director of the Washington-based Nonproliferation Policy Education Center. “If there isn’t a clear rule that prevents nuclear power providers from importing fuel from Russia — and it’s cheaper to get it from there — why wouldn’t they do it?”"