Britain has made £75 million ($90.5 million) available to support the domestic production of nuclear fuel for power plants, the government announced on Monday.
The move is intended to help the UK develop alternatives to Russian fuel supplies, according to a press release published on the website of the British government.
Businesses involved in uranium conversion, a key stage in the production of nuclear fuel, can apply for grants from the fund to develop new conversion capacity in the country.
“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,” read the press release.
Around 20% of global uranium conversion capacity and 40% of enrichment capacity are owned by Russia, it added. In 2020, 16% of the UK’s electricity came from its six nuclear power plants.
The fund was announced after G7 leaders agreed in June to reduce reliance on civil nuclear and related goods from Russia.
In light of the global energy crisis caused in part by sanctions imposed on Russia, a major supplier, the UK has sought alternative sources of energy that would be reliable, affordable, low-carbon and generated in the country. According to the government, new nuclear capabilities are an important part of the country’s drive to ensure greater energy independence.
Critics such as Greenpeace, however, point out that nuclear power is incredibly expensive, hazardous and slow to build.