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2018-01-22 08:05:00



PLATTS - Two Colorado-based uranium producers on Tuesday jointly asked the US Department of Commerce to investigate uranium imports that they said threaten national security, saying uranium from state-owned and state-subsidized companies in Kazakhstan, Russia and Uzbekistan fill nearly 40% of US demand while domestic production meets less than 5%.

"The domestic uranium mining industry needs US government assistance to survive the foreign onslaught -- particularly from Russia and Kazakhstan -- that has undermined the US uranium industry while new players -- particularly China -- will soon make the situation worse," Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy said in a petition they jointly filed with the department.

Their petition seeks relief under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, which was enacted to protect essential national security industries threatened by imports. Section 232 is not used often.

US steel producers filed a Section 232 petition with the department last year that focused on steel imports from China but also included other countries. That case is still underway.

Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy proposed in their petition a quota under which US uranium would supply 25% of the domestic market and establish a "Buy America policy" that would require US government operations that use uranium to buy uranium produced in the US. It is unclear whether the 25% would involve uranium in all forms or only that in the form of uranium hexafluoride, or UF6.

The companies noted in their statement that the petition asks President Donald Trump to "use his authority to adjust imports to ensure the long-term viability of the US uranium mining industry."

Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy described themselves in the petition as "the two most significant remaining US uranium mining companies." They said that without the relief requested, they would not be able to sustain their low-cost uranium recovery operations and the US uranium industry would cease to exist.

The companies noted in their petition and statement that without a "viable nuclear fuel cycle," US commercial and nuclear defense capabilities would be diminished "and the nation is likely to become 100% dependent on foreign parties that compete with the US for geopolitical influence and commercial advantage to fuel a majority of our clean, baseload electricity."

The petition cited Russia's cutoff of its supply of natural gas to Ukraine in 2009 and 2014, saying that showed Russia "is willing to use its control of energy resources as an economic and political weapon." It added, "This sort of geopolitical risk should be unacceptable to the US nuclear utilities and their ratepayers, who currently depend heavily on Russia and nations under Russia's influence to fuel their reactors."

It is "conceivable," the companies said, that a similar supply disruption could be triggered in the US by "sanctions or other geopolitical developments."

In addition, international treaties require that the uranium used for US defense purposes -- such as for the production of tritium, a radioactive gas used to boost the explosive power of nuclear weapons -- be sourced from the US. "Unless steps are taken now to foster a healthy domestic uranium mining industry, the defense stockpiles currently held by the DOE will be depleted, and it is unlikely that domestic producers will have sufficient capabilities to meet our defense needs in the future," they said.

The companies said in their statement that once the US Department of Commerce initiates an investigation, the secretary has 270 days to submit a report to the president.

After the president receives the report, he would have 90 days to act on the secretary's recommendations and to take any necessary action "to 'adjust the imports of an article and its derivatives' and/or pursue other lawful non-trade related actions necessary to address the threat," their statement said.

In its annual uranium marketing report released June 19, the US Energy Information Administration said that uranium from Kazakhstan, Russia and Uzbekistan accounted for 38% of the U3O8 used in the US in 2016. Uranium also was imported from Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Germany, Malawi, Namibia, Niger, South Africa and Ukraine, the report said.


"By implementing a flexible quota based on historical import shares, the US can reserve a portion of its market for US producers to compete and provide the essential domestic sourced uranium the US national security requires," the petition stated.

It said the quota proposal takes into account "existing business relationships between US utilities and their foreign suppliers, while setting reasonable limits on the amount of imported uranium so that US producers have sufficient commercial opportunities to survive."

It added that the Buy America policy would help offset the financial harm to the US mining industry from DOE's selling some of its stockpiled uranium to raise money for the remediation of some of its facilities.

These remedies sought would result in US utilities buying roughly 12 million lb/year of US uranium, based on recent data, Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy said in the statement.

"This would be expected to create a healthy US uranium mining industry, bolster national defense, and improve supply diversification for US utilities and their customers," they added.

"This is not a matter of foreign competition legitimately underpricing domestic producers," their petition stated. "It is foreign, state-mandated production undermining US companies that have the ability to compete on a level playing field."

They said in the petition that "state-sponsored, price-insensitive competition" by uranium producers in Kazakhstan, Russia and Uzbekistan resulted in the closure of several US mines and "dramatically reduced US uranium production."

The petition noted that in 1980 the US was the world's leading uranium producer. The US supplied 43.7 million lb of U3O8 that year, more than 300% of the US uranium consumption of roughly 14 million lb and 60% of the global consumption of 73.3 million lb, it said.

But by 2016, US uranium production dropped to 2.5 million lb U3O8, its lowest level since 2003 and 1.5% of global uranium consumption of 164.8 million lb for that year, the petition stated.

"This represented a 32% decrease from 2015, a one-third decrease in a single year," it said. "Final statistics for 2017 are expected to confirm that US uranium mine production declined even further to approximately 1.5 million lb of U3O8, or a further 40% drop from 2016's historically low levels, and approaching the 1.0 million lb U3O8 production rate of 1949, the dawn of the nuclear age."

The petition said, for instance, that uranium imports from Kazakhstan "have benefited from an 87% devaluation of the national currency in comparison to the US dollar."

It also said that uranium producers in Kazakhstan, Russia and Uzbekistan "are state-owned and continue to produce at uneconomic levels despite a global uranium surplus."

The petition added that the Russian industry has said it plans to increase its share of the US market when the US-Russia Suspension Agreement expires in 2020.

The US Department of Commerce suspended an antidumping investigation of uranium imports from Russia in 1992 in exchange for Russia's restricting the volume of uranium it directly or indirectly exports to the US.

The petition also noted China is in the process of becoming a major uranium supplier with its investments in mines in Kazakhstan, Namibia and elsewhere.




2018, January, 15, 10:10:00


ROSATOM - Following 2017, a share of electricity production by Russian nuclear power plants has increased up to 18.9%.

2018, January, 12, 12:55:00


ROSATOM - Russian NPPs exceeded the record of 2016 in the volume of generated electricity by increasing cumulative production by more than 6.5 billion kWh, up to 202.868 billion kWh (against 196.366 billion kWh in 2016).

2018, January, 8, 19:25:00


U.S.DT - "These sanctions target key entities involved in Iran's ballistic missile program, which the Iranian regime prioritizes over the economic well-being of the Iranian people. As the Iranian people suffer, their government and the IRGC fund foreign militants, terrorist groups, and human rights abuses," said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. "The United States will continue to decisively counter the Iranian regime's malign activity, including additional sanctions targeting human rights abuses. We will not hesitate to call out the regime's economic mismanagement, and diversion of significant resources to fund threatening missile systems at the expense of its citizenry."


2017, December, 15, 12:55:00

NUCLEAR - 2050: 25%

WNN - According to the Foratom statement, World Nuclear Association Director General Agneta Rising said: "By 2050, nuclear energy must account for 25% of energy generation if we are to meet our climate targets. With nuclear making up 11% of generation in 2014, an extra 1000 GWe in nuclear capacity will need to be built by 2050. However, meeting this goal will not be easy."


2017, November, 9, 13:50:00


EIA projects that global nuclear capacity will grow at an average annual rate of 1.6% from 2016 through 2040, led predominantly by countries outside of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). EIA expects China to continue leading world nuclear growth, followed by India. This growth is expected to offset declines in nuclear capacity in the United States, Japan, and countries in Europe.


2017, October, 14, 18:38:00


REUTERS - “If we lose our supply chain, if we lose our intellectual chain of supply of bright scientists because we basically pushed the nuclear industry back, then we’re going to lose our role as a leader when it comes to nuclear energy in the world,” Perry said.






2018, August, 17, 11:30:00


U.S. FRB - Industrial production edged up 0.1 percent in July after rising at an average pace of 0.5 percent over the previous five months. Manufacturing production increased 0.3 percent, the output of utilities moved down 0.5 percent, and, after posting five consecutive months of growth, the index for mining declined 0.3 percent. At 108.0 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 4.2 percent higher in July than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector was unchanged in July at 78.1 percent, a rate that is 1.7 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2017) average.

2018, August, 17, 11:25:00


NPD - Preliminary production figures for July 2018 show an average daily production of 1 911 000 barrels of oil, NGL and condensate, which is an increase of 64 000 barrels per day compared to June.

2018, August, 17, 11:20:00


GAZPROM NEFT - For the first six months of 2018 Gazprom Neft achieved revenue** growth of 24.4% year-on-year, at one trillion, 137.7 billion rubles (RUB1,137,700,000,000). The Company achieved a 49.8% year-on-year increase in adjusted EBITDA, to RUB368.2 billion. This performance reflected positive market conditions for oil and oil products, production growth at the Company’s new projects, and effective management initiatives. Net profit attributable to Gazprom Neft PJSC shareholders grew 49.6% year on year, to RUB166.4 billion. Growth in the Company’s operating cash flow, as well as the completion of key infrastructure investments at new upstream projects, delivered positive free cash flow of RUB47.5 billion for 1H 2018.

2018, August, 15, 11:10:00


REUTERS - Front-month Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were at $72.34 per barrel at 0648 GMT, down by 12 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were down 23 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $66.81 per barrel.

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