US launches national security probe into uranium imports
The Commerce Department has launched an investigation on the national security impact of current uranium import levels. The U.S. produces only 5% of its yearly uranium demand in the military and energy sectors. The inquiry was launched after a petition from the only two companies that produce uranium in the U.S., filed as they operate at less than 15% of their capacity in the face of state-supported companies exporting uranium from Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and China. “Our country cannot afford to depend on foreign sources – particularly Russia, and those in its sphere of influence, and China – for the element that provides the backbone of our nuclear deterrent, powers the ships and submarines of America’s nuclear Navy, and supplies 20 percent of the nation’s electricity,” declared the petition. At the end of the investigation, the government may look for a “Buy America” policy solution for uranium and similar materials.