Nuclear fuel funding aims to reduce reliance on Russia

The government is providing up to £75m to further develop the UK’s capability to supply nuclear fuels, a move intended to lessen reliance on supplies from Russia.


The funding package is intended to encourage investment in new fuel production capabilities in the UK, and aligns with the government’s ambition to secure up to 24GW of nuclear power by 2050.

In June 2022 G7 leaders agreed to reduce reliance on civil nuclear and related goods from Russia, including working to diversify their supplies of uranium and nuclear fuel production capability. Russia currently owns around 20 per cent of global uranium conversion capacity and 40 per cent of enrichment capacity.

The UK’s £75m Nuclear Fuel Fund is intended to strengthen energy security by encouraging investment into the development and commercialisation of domestic nuclear fuel production, including advanced fuel technologies. This includes the development of new conversion capacity in the UK for freshly mined and reprocessed uranium.


In a statement, Graham Stuart, minister of state for energy and climate, said: “Record high global gas prices, caused by Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, have highlighted the need for more home-grown renewable energy, but also UK generated nuclear power – building more plants, and developing domestic fuel capability.

“This investment package will strengthen the UK’s energy security, by ensuring access to a safe and secure supply of UK produced fuel to power the UK nuclear fleet of today and tomorrow - squeezing out Russian influence, while creating more UK jobs and export opportunities.”

In December 2022 £13m of the funding was awarded to Westinghouse to support them in reinstating conversion capabilities for reprocessed uranium and non-irradiated uranium products at the company’s Springfields site in Lancashire.

The government aims for the remaining funds to stimulate a diverse and resilient nuclear fuel market, supporting specialist skills, levelling up opportunities through new job creation across the country and opening up new export opportunities.

Tom Greatrex, chief executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, said: “Having the sovereign capability to manufacture next generation nuclear fuels for advanced reactors of the future is vital for energy security and net zero.

“It will also open up export opportunities for the UK, helping us reclaim our place as world leaders in the fuels sector.”