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Justices skeptical of argument to overturn ban on mining radioactive uranium in Virginia

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court seemed reluctant Monday to agree with companies seeking to overturn a decades-old Virginia ban on mining radioactive uranium. The justices heard arguments in a case brought by the owners of a massive uranium deposit in Virginia's Pittsylvania County, which borders North Carolina. It's the largest known uranium deposit in the United States, and its owners have said it contains enough uranium to power all of the country's nuclear reactors continuously for two years. Virginia says nothing in the federal Atomic Energy Act keeps it from banning uranium mining, which it has done since the 1980s. But the uranium companies argue that the state's purpose in passing the ban was improper.


U.S. nuclear power and uranium mining industries hope for Trump bailout

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON – A plea from uranium mining companies and nuclear power plant operators for tax breaks and other federal financial boosts is going before President Donald Trump, as his administration studies reviving the U.S. uranium industry in the name of national security. Trump is scheduled to receive recommendations Thursday from a task force of national security, military and other federal officials about ways to revive U.S. uranium mining, which has lagged against global competition amid low uranium ore prices. Uranium is a vital component for the country's nuclear arsenal, submarines and nuclear power plants. U.S. uranium users get about 10 percent of their supply from domestic sources, the federal Energy Information Administration has said. Most of the rest comes from Canada and Australia, followed by Russia and former Soviet republics.


Reps. Gosar, Bishop and Meadows: Trump should preserve US uranium mining industry

FOX News

Attorney Victoria Toensing on an FBI informant's allegations related to the Uranium One deal. The values that settled and protected America's West are unwavering and unchanging. In the 33 states and territories of the 75 members of our bipartisan Congressional Western Caucus, we believe in local and regional control of our destiny, not reliance on others. We fiercely advance energy dominance and independence. And we are committed to securing America's energy future and national security.


Trump says he will not impose uranium import quotas

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Donald Trump says he will not impose quotas on importing uranium, backing away from a possible trade confrontation and breaking with a Commerce Department assessment that America's use of foreign uranium raises national security concerns. The decision is unusual for Trump, who has pointed to national security concerns in calling for restrictions on foreign metal and autos in trade negotiations. It is also drawing rare criticism from Republicans in energy-rich states. Uranium is a vital component for the U.S. nuclear arsenal, submarines and power plants, which prompted a monthslong Commerce Department investigation into whether such materials fall under the national security umbrella. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has said that just 5 percent of the uranium the U.S. needs for military and electricity generation comes from domestic production.


U.S. delays groundwater cleanup rule for uranium mines amid GOP criticism

The Japan Times

CHEYENNE, WYOMING – Federal officials withdrew a proposed requirement for companies to clean up groundwater at uranium mines across the U.S. and will reconsider a rule that congressional Republicans criticized as too harsh on industry. The plan that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency put on hold Wednesday involves in-situ mining, in which water containing chemicals is used to dissolve uranium out of underground sandstone deposits. Water laden with uranium, a toxic element used for nuclear power and weapons, is then pumped to the surface. No digging or tunneling takes place. The metal occurs in the rock naturally but the process contaminates groundwater with uranium in concentrations much higher than natural levels.