Uranium supplies are not a US national security problem. Why is Trump pretending the opposite? Trouble has been brewing in America’s nuclear sector for decades. Once the preeminent nuclear technology exporter to the world, the US industry has atrophied and taken on foreign owners, and nuclear energy has been losing its foothold in US electricity markets. A much-hoped-for nuclear renaissance hasn’t materialized, in part because of the reactor meltdowns in 2011 in Fukushima, Japan. But the larger problem plaguing the US nuclear industry isn’t safety-related; it’s economic. In the United States, nuclear power hasn’t been competitive on price for many, many years, and so very, very few nuclear power plants are being built, as existing US plants are increasingly shuttered for financial reasons. The Trump administration has a plan for that, based on wishful thinking and false premises. The solutions proposed include mining around the Grand Canyon and establishing a uranium reserve, buying small and microreactors for US government facilities, stripping regulatory processes, and muscling into foreign markets now occupied by China and Russia. This fantasy list of projects would be economically unwise at any time, but especially is now, when the country faces an enormously costly and as-yet-unresolved pandemic.
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 28th April 2020 read more »
The Department of Energy (DOE) on April 23 released a long-awaited report by the president’s Nuclear Fuel Working Group (NFWG), which recommends key steps to assure an independent, continued supply of uranium for U.S. nuclear power reactors and strategic defense needs. The NFWG recommendations entail prudent moves to assure the integrity of America’s nuclear fuel cycle and the preservation of a critical domestic supply chain.
FDD 1st May 2020 read more »
Plan to ‘revive’ uranium mining called unneeded, unwanted by advocates. Environmentalists are blasting a Trump administration call for “bold action to revive and strengthen the uranium mining industry,” an industry whose history they say has left a “toxic trail” through the Grand Canyon. They are responding to a report last week by the Department of Energy’s Nuclear Fuel Working Group, which called for the government to support both uranium mining and nuclear power technology to preserve national security.
AZPM 30th April 2020 read more »