White House Considering Direct Purchases of U.S. Mined Uranium

White House Considering Direct Purchases of U.S. Mined Uranium

Bloomberg  | Sep 07, 2019 08:09

White House Considering Direct Purchases of U.S. Mined Uranium

(Bloomberg) -- The White House is considering a plan that would have the government directly purchase uranium from U.S. producers as it contemplates ways to revive the flagging domestic mining industry.

A group set up by President Donald Trump to study the issue is considering a request by the nuclear industry to use the Defense Production Act, a 68-year-old Cold War-era statute once invoked by President Harry Truman to help the steel industry. The plan calls for requiring the government to buy American uranium to replenish their stockpiles and for other purposes, Paul Goranson, chief operating officer for Energy Fuels Inc., said in an interview.

Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy Inc. unsuccessfully petitioned the White House to put quotas on foreign imports of uranium. The concept of direct government purchases of U.S. uranium was among ideas discussed during a roundtable with administration staff and the nuclear industry at the Old Executive Office Building earlier this week, Goranson said.

“They seem receptive to direct purchasing of material,” Goranson said. “The president intends to take bold action on this. It’s got his attention now.”

The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Share Rise

Shares in U.S. uranium producers rose on the report. Energy Fuels jumped as much as 11% while Ur-Energy climbed as much as 10%. Cameco Corp. increased about 2%.

Trump in July rejected the Commerce Department’s recommendation that he impose quotas on uranium imports using a trade law tied to national security concerns that he invoked to impose tariffs on steel, solar panels and hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese goods. Instead, Trump said a fuller analysis was needed and he directed his administration to identify other options. He created a nuclear fuel working group comprised of six cabinet secretaries and several other top White House officials.

The Uranium Producers of America, which represents miners including Cameco, is requesting “federal actions facilitating domestic uranium production” of at least 7.5 million pounds per year by 2025 and 10 million pounds per year by 2030, according to a letter the Santa Fe, New Mexico, trade group sent to the working group last month. That includes millions of pounds via contracts with the Department of Defense, requirements that government-owned utilities buy domestic uranium, and the creation of a new “Federal Uranium Security Stockpile.”

“We may not be able to continue any operations without immediate relief from the impact of state-backed entities, which have distorted global prices and made it more difficult for free market mines in the U.S. to compete,” the group wrote in the letter, which included a request to direct payments to domestic uranium companies.

In a separate letter, the Nuclear Energy Institute, which represents nuclear reactor operators, also recommended the working group use the Defense Production Act to “accelerate the procurement” of domestic uranium as well as “incentivize” the annual purchase of domestic uranium through a tax credit for nuclear utilities.

In addition, the trade group urged expanding an Energy Department loan program to include domestic uranium projects and to ”modernize the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s regulatory regime to be more safety focused, risk-informed, timely, consistent, cost-contained, and transparent.”

(Updates with more details starting in seventh paragraph.)

Related News

Latest comments

Add a Comment
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Discussion
Write a reply...
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.

Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.

English (USA) English (UK) English (India) English (Canada) English (South Africa) English (Philippines) English (Nigeria) Deutsch Español (España) Español (México) Français Italiano Nederlands Português (Portugal) Polski Português (Brasil) Русский Türkçe ‏العربية‏ Ελληνικά Svenska Suomi עברית 日本語 한국어 中文 香港 Bahasa Indonesia Bahasa Melayu ไทย Tiếng Việt हिंदी
Sign out
Are you sure you want to sign out?
NoYes
CancelYes
Saving Changes

+