Such measures will help American uranium producers suffering from a lack of investment.
Representatives of the Trump administration recommended that American energy regulators be given the opportunity to block imports of nuclear fuel from Russia and China, as well as submit a detailed plan for creating state reserves of uranium extracted on US territory
The recommendations are intended to address growing concerns that the United States has lost global leadership in nuclear technology in recent decades, as well as to boost domestic nuclear power producers and American uranium miners who are suffering from a lack of investment.
US energy Secretary Dan Brouillette told reporters that the report Of the working group on nuclear fuel is “a blueprint for what we believe needs to be done to not only revitalize but restore American leadership in this industry.”
President Donald Trump created the working group in July last year, after rejecting a request from two American uranium mining companies, Energy Fuels Inc and Ur-Energy Inc, to obtain quotas for domestic uranium production to protect them from foreign competition.
The report recommends that the nuclear regulatory Commission ban the import of uranium from Russia and China for national security purposes. Another recommendation is made for the Ministry of Commerce – it should amend the agreement with Russia, which sets a maximum limit on imports of Russian uranium, which should not exceed 20% of the American market “to protect against future price dumping of uranium.” The report also recommends further lowering the limits on Russian uranium imports.
The report mentions TVEL, a division of the Russian state concern Rosatom, which in 2008 launched a project to develop alternative fuel for reactors using American technologies abroad and in the United States. This project has now been suspended, but if revived, it will pose a danger to the nuclear industry.
The authors of the report recommend that the authorities create a state uranium reserve that allows the administration to directly purchase uranium from American producers. In February, the President proposed to invest $ 1.5 billion in this reserve over 10 years, but this figure has not yet been approved by Congress.
According to Minister Brouillette, the President can sign Executive orders in support of the findings of the report, which proposes to encourage research and development of new reactor technologies and rationalization of permits for uranium mining.
American uranium miners, Energy Fuels Inc, and Ur-Energy Inc, as well as more than two dozen lawmakers, say that American nuclear power plants are too dependent on foreign suppliers, including Russia, China, and Kazakhstan. For many years, Canada was the main supplier of uranium to the United States.
The American nuclear power industry suffers from high-security costs and low prices for natural gas, which is also used to generate electricity. Since 2013, about nine nuclear power plants have been closed in the United States, and eight more are planned to be closed in the coming years.