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.
The administration is reportedly considering an import quota that would require U.S. uranium mining firms to provide a quarter of the domestic market. The Commerce Department began exploring the idea last year, citing national security concerns. However, critics of the proposal point out that much of the country's uranium is supplied by close U.S. allies: Canada and Australia.
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.
Iran insists its nuclear work remains peaceful, as guaranteed under the accord. But it also insists that the country has the right to stop honoring some or all of the provisions because the United States has reimposed sanctions in violation of the accord. Here are questions and answers on whether Iran has violated the agreement, the possible consequences, and what could happen next. Iran is permitted to keep up to 300 kilograms, or about 660 pounds, of uranium enriched to 3.67 percent purity, a level that can be used for civilian purposes like nuclear power fuel. This is a fraction of the uranium stockpile it had once amassed, which was shipped out of the country after the nuclear agreement took effect.