UEC responds to US uranium reserve tender

02 August 2022

Texas-based Uranium Energy Corp (UEC) has submitted an offer to supply the US Department of Energy - National Nuclear Security Administration with uranium, in response to a government tender to launch a national reserve of domestically produced U3O8.

UEC's uranium operations include Hobson in Texas (Image: @UraniumEnergy)

The reserve is part of a strategy drawn up by the Nuclear Fuel Working Group set up in 2019 by President Donald Trump to look into national security considerations with respect to the entire nuclear fuel supply chain. Some USD75 million has already been authorised by Congress for the purchase of uranium and conversion services, and NNSA in July issued a solicitation for its first purchase of domestically-produced U3O8 for the reserve.

UEC President and CEO Amir Adnani said NNSA's initial purchase goal for one million pounds marks an important milestone for the programme. "The NNSA purchases will help jump-start our industry and reduce the country's reliance on uranium from jurisdictions that expose America to precarious supply risks," he said.

Domestic supply is critical for US energy and national security, he said, adding that this was one of the primary drivers behind UEC's December 2021 acquisition of Russia's Uranium One Americas, "repatriating this important asset back to US ownership and control". This was "not only a highly accretive business transaction, it also increased domestic capability in the nation's nuclear fuel supply chain," he added.

UEC Chairman Spencer Abraham - who is also a former US Energy Secretary, also applauded recent discussions at a US Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing on proposed legislation that would prohibit the importation of uranium from the Russian Federation. The USA's omission of nuclear fuel from its ban on energy imports from Russia sends a mixed message, he said.

"While Russia's invasion of Ukraine has garnered outrage from the international community, many nations find themselves handcuffed in terms of their ability to respond, due to their reliance on Russian energy imports … Banning Russian uranium imports and supporting our domestic nuclear fuel supply capabilities are solid steps towards bolstering our energy independence and protecting our national security," Abraham said.

Offers under NNSA's solicitation were due by 1 August.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News