Uranium imports studied; US producers seek protection

Uranium imports studied; US producers seek protection

Uranium imports studied; US producers seek protection

In January, Ur-Energy Inc (TSE:URE) and Energy Fuels Inc.campaigned against a flood of imports of uranium products into the U.S. and jointly signed a petition to the US Department of Commerce (DOC) for Relief Under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act from imports of uranium products that threaten national security.

Canada is not the target, although all countries are potentially subject to the investigation, said a spokeswoman for two usa uranium firms that petitioned the us government in January to take action to help a sector that has been hemorrhaging jobs.

The probe will cover the entire uranium sector, from the mining industry to enrichment, defense and industrial consumption, the department said.

"Our production of uranium necessary for military and electric power has dropped from 49 percent of our consumption to five percent", Ross said.

Reviewing whether uranium imports pose such a threat could open the door to the administration imposing new tariffs amid months of backlash over President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want to use "adversary" to describe Russia Comey urges Americans to vote for Democrats in midterms Roby wins Alabama GOP runoff, overcoming blowback from Trump criticism MORE's trade policies.

The uranium inquiry is the latest of several trade-related steps the Trump administration has taken with an eye toward imposing stiff tariffs on imports. The Saskatchewan-based uranium company accounts for 18 per cent of the world's uranium production and sells 30 per cent of its uranium to the United States. Domestic producers are projected to fulfil only about two per cent of total US commercial demand.

Canada was the largest individual foreign supplier, producing 35% of uranium purchases by US plants.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in May that uranium production plummeted in the first quarter of this year to 226.8 million pounds.

Nuclear power provides 20percent of the U.S.' electricity, a fraction that is set to wane in the coming years: Since 2013, six of the nation's nuclear reactors have shut down permanently and 11 others are scheduled to be retired by 2025.

Prices have since bumped up to about $23 a pound following production cuts at leading producers KazAtomProm in Kazakhstan and Cameco Corp.in Canada. US reactors burn roughly 50 million pounds of uranium each year, with Canada and Kazakhstan each supplying roughly 25 per cent of that amount.

The "Section 232" probe was prompted by a petition filed by two USA uranium mining companies, Ur-Energy Inc (URG.A) and Energy Fuels Inc (UUUU.A), complaining that subsidized foreign competitors have caused them to cut capacity and lay off workers. We encourage steps that will help to protect the nation's uranium mining industry - the loss of domestic mining would have a significant detrimental impact on U.S. strategic interests. Nuclear-power producers have responded by warning that sharp restrictions on uranium imports could lead to the closure of plants.

Nearly 90 per cent of uranium delivered to USA reactors was from foreign nations in 2016, according to the government agency. It also suggests that United States federal utilities and agencies are required to buy U.S. uranium.

In a joint statement yesterday, Ur-Energy and Energy Fuels noted the Secretary of Commerce now has 270 days to conduct the investigation and submit a report to the US President containing his findings and proposed remedy, if any.

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