Global dependence on Russia for the uranium product high-assay low-enriched uranium, or HALEU, is beginning to worry some members of the Congressional Western Caucus.

4th District Representative and Western Caucus Chair Dan Newhouse said Russia is the only commercial supplier of the fuel, which is used in the latest generation of nuclear reactors. Many believe using next-generation nuclear power is one way to replace carbon-based power like oil and coal.

"The answer here is for us to build that capability to source these fuels domestically so that we can produce HALEU here within the United States and not be dependent on a source that is adversarial," said Newhouse.

Grant County PUD entered into a partnership last year to explore building a new, small modular reactor in Central Washington. Each reactor can power around 60,000 homes and require HALEU fuel.

Newhouse adds that the lack of a national uranium reserve isn't just an matter of energy security, it's an issue of national security.

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