Ad Hoc Utilities Group

Issue Background

The Ad Hoc Utilities Group (AHUG), which consists of a majority of nuclear energy generators in the United States, opposes the Department of Commerce’s Section 232 investigation of uranium imports, which was initiated earlier this year. Raising costs for uranium creates the potential for additional plant closures across the country that will cause significant domestic economic harm, impact national security by increasing reliance on a finite, depletable domestic resource and weaken our civil nuclear energy sector. It is also inconsistent with President Trump’s executive order and the Department of Energy’s policies to prevent further nuclear plant shutdowns.

 

“The U.S. nuclear energy industry provides enormous economic benefits, is critical to our national security and serves as a resilient and reliable energy source. Imposing additional regulatory burdens on the already struggling nuclear energy industry will put 100,000 good paying domestic jobs and careers at risk and is inconsistent with President Trump’s and the Department of Energy’s policy pronouncements.” - David Tamasi, AHUG

 
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The nuclear energy market provides a reliable (non-intermittent), clean and affordable electricity source to the U.S. electric grid, supplying 20 percent of America’s electricity needs. A diverse uranium supply is an essential component of that reliability. Today, the majority of the U.S. uranium supply comes from the U.S. and close, trusted allies. For example, in 2017, the U.S., Canada, and Australia accounted for nearly 60 percent of the U.S. uranium supply. Another 11 percent comes from Kazakhstan–a NATO partner that enjoys a strong bilateral relationship with the U.S

Import adjustment measures, such as tariffs, quotas, or other burdens on this important fuel source would benefit foreign countries and create national security concerns. Such import measures would artificially increase U.S. prices and drive down non-US prices benefitting China who would have access to artificially depressed non-U.S. uranium for its domestic commercial nuclear market.

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For long-term defense needs, the government must also preserve the domestic supply of uranium, a depletable resource, unlike steel and aluminum which are not depletable. For example, the Department of Defense depends on the nation’s grid to power 99 percent of its installations, and reliability for these military bases means maintaining access to diverse fuel supplies, like uranium, for national security.

“Unfortunately, an increased reliance on domestic uranium sources for commercial nuclear reactors will irreversibly deplete the limited domestic uranium supply which is vital for national security” - David Tamasi, AHUG

Import adjustment measures recommended by the foreign-based miners with small operations in the U.S. cannot be favored at the risk of the economic benefits from U.S. nuclear plants. Such measures would accelerate the depletion of the finite domestic uranium supply for commercial nuclear reactors, and challenge continuing plant operations and thousands of jobs. Instead, the nuclear industry must be able to source fuel in a way that is reliable and affordable for its customers and allows the communities they serve to continue to thrive for years to come.



about ahug

The Ad Hoc Utilities Group (AHUG) consists of a majority of the nuclear generators in the U.S. including Ameren Missouri, Dominion Energy Services, Inc. on behalf of Virginia Electric and Power Company and Dominion Energy Nuclear Connecticut, Inc., Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC and Duke Energy Progress, LLC, Energy Northwest, Entergy Operations, Inc. and Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc., Exelon Generation Company, LLC, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, PSEG Nuclear LLC, South Carolina Electric & Gas Company, and Xcel Energy Services Inc.