Why Rosatom still is not on the list of sanctioned companies? Here’s the trick – Technology Org

According to multiple reports, aside from his primary business Rosatom also imports components for tanks and missiles. Why is it still not under economic sanctions?

Exhibit from Rosatom illustrating the production of nuclear fuel.

Exhibit from Rosatom illustrating the production of nuclear fuel. Image credit: IAEA Imagebank via Flickr, CC BY 2.0

In their investigation, Bloomberg and the Royal Institute for Strategic Studies (RUSI) found that in 2022, Rosatom’s sales and exports of nuclear fuel increased by as much as 20%, reaching a 3-year peak for the EU market.

This number is quite a lot, considering the fact that nuclear resources sold to Eastern Europe account for only 40% of all exports from Rosatom.

And not just EU countries buy nuclear fuel from the Russian Federation. In the United States, about 20% of existing nuclear reactors operate using nuclear fuel purchased from the same source. Nearly all fuel used by American small modular nuclear reactors is also Russian.

Where does the secret lie?

It seems that the answer to this question is quite simple. While the world was trying to limit new developments of nuclear energy, including ore extraction operations, Russia did not stop here and continued to invest in the development of the atomic energy infrastructure throughout the last 30 years.

And replacing Rosatom as a leading supplier of nuclear fuel is not a simple task, and would take a long time. According to Bloomberg, just Ukraine will need up to 4-5 years before it finally switches over to other providers of this critical resource.

This is also the reason why the West cannot impose immediate economic sanctions on Rosatom, despite the fact that this company may be one of the keystones in circumventing the trade restrictions intended to limit the production and use of weapons in the invasion of Ukraine.

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