"Free market uranium is declining. AHUG notes that the U.S., Canada and Australia accounted for nearly 60 percent of the U.S. uranium supply in 2017."
Energy speculators seek to pad profits with a 25 percent uranium quota. Per US Government data, uranium from U.S. Allies Canada and Australia has been increasing; supply from Kazakhstan, Russia, and Uzbekistan has been decreasing. Canada and Australia can supply 100% of U.S. uranium needs with their licensed and built capacity.
"China is aggressively expanding its role in the global uranium mining market and the rest of the nuclear fuel cycle."
Energy speculators, Energy Fuels; UR Energy speculate with facts and seek to pad profits. China is importing uranium rather than exporting it to the US. Utilities purchased no Chinese uranium in 2017. Energy Fuels recently told investors that China’s nuclear program is a “positive market development.”
"It is dangerous to depend on state-owned enterprises in Russia and its allies."
The U.S. relies on uranium imports from trusted U.S. allies – only a minority come from other countries. Energy Fuels and UR Energy play the Russia card to seek higher uranium prices and greater profits at the expense of the U.S. nuclear industry. The U.S. relies on uranium imports from trusted allies.
"Uranium purchases represent about 8 percent of the operations and maintenance costs at a nuclear power plant."
A 25 percent uranium quota would add $500-800 million in annual costs to already-stressed plants threatening 100,000 direct jobs and 475,000 indirect jobs.
The quota risks shutdowns since many plants are already operating at a loss or at razor-thin margins.
A 25 percent uranium quota only benefits Energy Fuels and UR Energy foreign investors, threatening to kill jobs rather than create them.
"Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy are U.S. companies. "
Energy Fuels USA and Ur-Energy USA are wholly owned by Canadian corporations. An Energy Fuels 2016 10K report reads “we are a Canadian company.”
In fact, Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy, resell foreign uranium to US utilities at 50 percent profit margins while claiming imports threaten national security. Disingenuous.
"The petitioners suggest their decreased production levels have led to economic losses – and blame foreign uranium supply"
Petitioners buy uranium from the spot market instead of mining; supplying foreign uranium at up to 50 percent profit margins.
Any potential economic loss from decreased uranium mining production would predominantly be limited to the few western states where miners reside. The entire U.S. uranium mining industry employs about 400 workers.
A domestic purchase quota would jeopardize nuclear plants in more than 30 U.S. states, threatening nearly 100,000 direct jobs and 475,000 indirect jobs.
The petitioners had entered into long term contracts that had locked in higher prices years ago. These long-term deals are expiring or have expired. Now they are seeking to establish a 25 percent domestic quota to get higher prices when negotiating new long-term contracts. This is a craven attempt to use national security to exact higher uranium prices and greater profits at the potential expense of the U.S. nuclear industry.
"Uranium quotas are needed to strengthen national security"
The U.S. Navy relies on a consistent supply of highly enriched uranium (HEU) to fuel its reactors. In addition, the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program relies on almost 100 naval nuclear reactors that power U.S. aircraft carriers and submarines.
The U.S. is already implementing a plan that would address existing defense needs and not exhaust economically available U.S. resources.
Even if the stockpile is diminishing, as the petitioners allege, the proposed quota would only hasten the exhaustion of U.S. resources by requiring utilities to consume U.S. uranium instead of uranium from other countries. The quota would completely exhaust these resources in up to 30 years.
Nuclear power plants provide a secure, strongly-defended means of protecting grid reliability in the face of cyber attacks.
"Now is the time to create a domestic quota on Uranium"
This is the worst possible time to burden nuclear power plants with additional, unnecessary costs. At least 20 such plants are on the brink of being shut down when they are still capable of producing electricity, 24/7, for decades to come.
Nuclear power plants don’t get compensated for the fact that they create zero greenhouse gasses and are heavily protected against cyber and physical attacks. Rising uranium prices could help push nuclear power plants over the brink and into premature retirement.
Such retirements are dangerous for grid resilience, disastrous for cutting greenhouse gasses, and bad for U.S. national security.