Late Friday, President Trump declined to set quotas for US uranium production, however, has instead ordered a new 90-day review by a group of federal agencies.
In a written memo, Trump said he did not agree with a US Department of Commerce investigation that found uranium imports could hurt US national security, however, wrote the findings "raise significant concerns," and in light of this was ordering a deeper review. "A fuller analysis of national security considerations with respect to the entire nuclear fuel supply chain is necessary at this time."
The Section 232 probe was prompted by a petition filed by Energy Fuels (TSE:EFR) (NYSEMKT:UUUU) and Ur-Energy Inc (TSE:URE) (NYSEAMERICAN:URG). Headquartered in Colorado, Energy Fuels is a fully-integrated producer of both uranium and vanadium, and owner of the only operational conventional uranium mining in the US. Ur-Energy is a uranium mining company, which operates the Lost Creek in-situ recovery uranium facility in south-central Wyoming.
In the petition, the firms proposed that the president implement two remedies, with an aim to preserve US national security and help the domestic uranium mining industry recover.
In response to the news, Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy released a joint statement Saturday, noting they commend President Trump for recognizing the significant challenges facing the American uranium mining industry.
"Over the next 90 days, the working group will examine the current state of U.S. nuclear fuel production and develop recommendations for reinvigorating the entire nuclear fuel supply chain consistent with US national security and nonproliferation goals," noted the statement. "Our two companies will stand ready to support the working group as it conducts its study."
Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy also noted they believe the entire front end of the US nuclear fuel cycle is under siege.
"The American uranium mining industry will produce less than 1% of the uranium needed to fuel US nuclear power plants this year," they noted. "The only domestic uranium conversion facility in the US shut down in 2017, and we lack any domestic uranium enrichment capability for national security applications."
According to the Energy Information Administration in 2017, the US sourced 7% of its uranium domestically, with much of the rest coming from Canada, Australia and Russia.
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