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 Trump administration’s actions affecting America’s uranium producers. The president’s budget proposes to create an American uranium reserve.

“The United States should not be dependent on foreign imports of uranium. It is a risk to our national security. President Trump’s budget makes this clear,” said Barrasso. “The president’s proposal to protect American uranium production by funding a uranium reserve is an important first step. America’s uranium producers need immediate action from Washington. I urge the Nuclear Fuel Working Group to finish their job. For years, Russia has manipulated the uranium market to unfairly undermine American uranium production. Uranium market interference has hurt uranium producers in Wyoming. This nuclear fuel is essential to both America’s energy and national security.” 

In July 2019, President Trump recognized the national security implications of relying on foreign imports of uranium. President Trump established a Nuclear Fuel Working Group to recommend actions to preserve America’s nuclear fuel supply chain. U.S. Senator John Barrasso previously joined with American uranium producers calling for assistance to preserve domestic uranium production. 

Background Information:

On Sept. 30, 2019, Barrasso and a group of Republican Senators sent a letter to National Economic Council Director and Nuclear Fuel Working Group (NFWG) Co-Chairman Larry Kudlow, calling for NFWG to take bold action to help America’s uranium producers. Read the letter here

On July 13, 2019, President Trump established the NFWG following his final decision regarding the Section 232 investigation. The NFWG was tasked with giving recommendations to the president on to reinvigorate domestic nuclear fuel production. 

On Jan. 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 Commerce Department to investigate the effects of uranium imports, from foreign state-owned firms, on America’s national security. Barrasso led congressional efforts pressing for the investigation.

On Feb. 8, 2018, Barrasso authored an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal titled, “America’s Self-Imposed Uranium Shortage,” where he called on the Trump administration to take action against foreign state-owned uranium producers importing into the United States.

In the piece, Barrasso wrote, “The administration should also take action against state-owned and state-subsidized producers in Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. These nations are unfairly flooding the U.S. with cheap uranium, as they are interested in gaining political leverage over the U.S. Two American uranium producers recently petitioned the Commerce Department to investigate these abuses. The Trump administration should expedite this investigation and take steps to make sure our uranium producers can compete on a level playing field.” 

On March 21, 2018, at a Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works oversight hearing of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Barrasso called for the Commerce Department to begin an investigation into uranium imports. Barrasso also questioned NRC Chair Kristine Svinicki on the importance of uranium production to America’s national security. 

On July 12, 2018, at a Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing, Barrasso called on the administration to initiate a section 232 investigation into uranium imports. Testifying before the committee was Manisha Singh, assistant secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs.