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U.S. Utilities to Purchase Nuclear Fuel from Russia

A Russian uranium export company has signed a US$1 billion set of agreements with three U.S. utility companies to supply the utilities with uranium-enriched fuel for nuclear power plants. The Associated Press (AP) reports that state-run Tekhsnabexport, also known as Tenex, will provide the enriched fuel to Pacific Gas & Electric Company, headquartered in San  Francisco, California; AmerenUE, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri; and Luminant, headquartered in Dallas, Texas. Tenex will supply the fuel for six years, from 2014 through 2020, with an option for renewal. The AP report quotes a Tenex official as saying the deals will help each company supply electricity to 5 million households. AP says Russia is already the largest single supplier of uranium fuel to U.S. nuclear plants, but that it has been barred from expanding those supplies by protectionist measures put into place by the federal government after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Russia is seeking to expand its role in the global nuclear power industry, including uranium mining and power-plant construction.

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