WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) released the following statement on the announcement that multiple uranium producers have jointly filed a petition with the U.S. Commerce Department to investigate the effects of uranium imports on U.S. national security.
“For years, government-owned uranium producers in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan have unfairly flooded American markets with cheap uranium,” said Barrasso. “As a result, uranium production in the United States has fallen to the lowest levels we have seen since the early 1950s.
“America’s ability to produce uranium is crucial to power our economy and keep our nation safe. It’s not only an energy security issue, it is a national security issue. The Trump administration needs to expedite this investigation and take action to preserve this vital industry.”
On January 16, 2018, American uranium producers Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy jointly submitted a petition for relief, under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, to the U.S. Commerce Department to investigate the effects of uranium imports, from foreign state-owned firms, on America’s national security.
Imports of uranium from state-owned and state-subsidized organizations in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan now meet nearly 40 percent of U.S. demand, while American production fulfills less than 5 percent. America’s nuclear power plants are now dependent on foreign sources for about 90 percent of their nuclear fuel needs. In 2017, uranium production in the United States fell significantly.
The Senate EPW Committee oversees the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the nation’s principal regulator of uranium producers and nuclear power plants.
Wyoming is home to more than half of all uranium production in the United States.