Given the present invasion of Ukraine, one would rationally think that all Russian energy products are subject to capital market sanctions by the U.S. This, however, is not the case for uranium. The legacy of Russian uranium imported into the United States is closing in on its 30th year –with the same government agencies and corporations involved now as they were back in 1993. The revolving doors have stayed the same, but the locks have been changed. Daniel Poneman, the CEO of American uranium dealer, Centrus, holds the skeleton key. The Transitional Supply Agreement, also known as the TENEX Supply Contract, is a contract between U.S.-based Centrus Energy, and Russia's sole uranium exporting agency TENEX. It was signed on March 23rd, 2011, and is expected to continue until 2028 unless the program is surrendered. Though, this new international deal only plays off of a former international nuclear agreement: The Highly-Enriched Uranium (HEU) Agreement, AKA, Megatons to Megawatts, which went from 1993 through 2013 between the U.S. and Russia. The plan was for the former Soviet Union to dismantle 500 metric tons of their nuclear bomb stockpile and transform the radioactive uranium from them into material America could use to power their domestic nuclear plants and to sell to other countries. Questioning the adequacy of the HEU Agreement, former anti-terrorism squad member of the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant, Jeff Walburn, asks, "Why was out-of-specification Russian uranium allowed to be shipped to and processed at the Portsmouth Plant?" This fact leaves Jeff and other nuclear investigators concerned it could happen again. Daniel Poneman, the current President and CEO of Centrus, which was formely known as USEC (United States Enrichment Corporation), was the Chair of the HEU Committee, Special Assistant to Bill Clinton and Senior Director for Nonproliferation and Export Controls during the 20-year long HEU deal with Russia. Now, as a matter of fact, he and his company are still paying the Russian uranium cartel, TENEX, U.S. dollars in exchange for imports to supply American nuclear power plants. Daniel Poneman has exclaimed that the relationship between Centrus and TENEX is, "...a partnership that has played an indispensable role in U.S.-Russia nuclear cooperation for more than two decades." According to a Centrus Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing from March of this year, "Under the TENEX Supply Contract, we purchase SWU (Separate Work Units) contained in LEU (Low Enriched Uranium), and we deliver natural uranium to TENEX for the LEU’s uranium component. The TENEX Supply Contract extends through 2028." By paying hard cash to Russia's TENEX for their atomic materials, Poneman and Centrus are indeed funding Russia's war efforts in Ukraine, and supplying their nuclear agency with American money. This, in my opinion, is certainly a national security threat to the United States of America.
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