The uranium industry is urging the Trump administration to require U.S. nuclear power plants buy more locally produced uranium. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the White House has now extended the deadline for a working group to submit its report on the issue.
President Trump commissioned the Nuclear Fuel Working Group over the summer after he declined to require nuclear plants to purchase a quarter of their uranium from domestic suppliers.
The group’s report to the National Security and Economic councils was due last week. But according to a Department of Commerce spokesperson, the president has given it 30 extra days to finalize its findings.
Two uranium mining companies, including the owner of the Canyon Mine near the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, are calling for the “buy America” requirement. The U.S. imports more than 90 percent of its uranium for power generation, which they say poses a national security threat. Domestic uranium production is at its lowest level in nearly 70 years.
Environmental groups, however, say increased quotas could lead to expanded uranium mining near the Grand Canyon, endangering its environment and watershed.