Click here for video of Chairman Barrasso asking the NRC to commit to respond to his letter.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), questioned the commissioners of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) about the ongoing Uranium One investigation during a committee oversight hearing of the agency.
Earlier this week, Barrasso sent a letter to NRC Chairman Kristine Svinicki and Energy Secretary Rick Perry demanding answers to a key question of the Uranium One investigation – whether the Obama administration intentionally misled Congress on uranium exports.
In the letter, Barrasso sought to expand the investigation into the Obama administration’s approval of the sale of Uranium One’s uranium recovery facilities in Wyoming to Russian state-owned firm Atomredmetzoloto (ARMZ).
Writing to Perry and Svinicki, Barrasso pointed to misleading information provided by the Obama administration concerning the role of the Department of Energy (DOE) in approving the export of uranium. By law, once U.S.-origin uranium is exported to a foreign country, the DOE must approve of any subsequent exports of that material. In the case of Uranium One, uranium was first exported to Canada and then to Europe.
During today’s hearing, Barrasso asked NRC Chairman Kristine Svinicki, to commit to respond to his letter and answer his many questions regarding the Uranium One investigation. Svinicki committed to fully respond to Barrasso’s questions in a timely fashion.
Barrasso secures commitment from NRC to answer his Uranium One questions:
“I specifically raised concerns about future exports of U.S. uranium by Uranium One.
“I believe the Obama administration’s response to my letter was at best misleading.
“Responding on behalf of the president, the former chairman of the NRC Jaczko stated: ‘In order to export uranium from the United States, Uranium One, Inc. or ARMZ, which was the subsidiary of Rosatom, would need to apply for and obtain a specific NRC license authorizing the export of uranium for use in reactor fuel.’
“We now know this is false.
“Uranium One did not need a specific NRC license to export U.S. uranium.
“Instead, Uranium One only needed to be, and later was, listed as a supplier on a transport company’s NRC export license.
“Subsequently, Uranium One uranium has been exported overseas.
“On Monday, I sent a letter to the NRC in an effort to find answers to why this response was so inaccurate from former commission Chairman Jaczko.
“Chairman Svinicki, will you commit to providing me a timely and fulsome response?”
Chairman Svinicki responded:
“Yes, Chairman Barrasso, I and our commission are in receipt of your letter, received yesterday.
“I would note that, as your letter makes clear, the responses you have received have not fully depicted the complexity of this issue.
“As NRC we welcome the opportunity to respond to the full subset of questions you have asked.
“I think it will allow us to depict it in context and more accurately than the responses you have received.
“So, we look forward to doing that.”