US President Donald Trump has proposed $150 million in 2021 budget for the creation of uranium reserve in the country as his administration tries to help the producers struggling for the fuel of nuclear power reactors. If the money is approved by US House of Representatives, it would further begin the purchase of uranium. The Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette told the reporters in a teleconference on Energy Department's budget that the proposed allocations by Trump, represents a push to the challenge of the global expansion of nuclear power development by Chinese and Russian companies.
Brouillette said that the US President has decided that the US is 'going to meet them anywhere that they go around the world' and the creation of uranium reserve is the 'first step' which will take America back into the competitive game. US uranium mining firms along with nearly two dozens western state lawmakers have reportedly urged that nuclear generators are highly dependent on adversaries from Russia, China, and Kazakhstan for the supply of uranium by their state-owned companies.
However, the budget which represents the starting point for negotiations with Congress did not mention the location of the proposed nuclear reserves. According to international reports, the political document said that nuclear reserve will acknowledge the immediate challenges to domestic production of uranium and also provides 'assurance of availability of uranium' in the event of market disruption.
Presently, the US nuclear energy industry is facing decreased prices for natural gas but hiked safety costs. Since 2013, at least ten nuclear power plants have been closed while eight more will be closed down in the coming years. Meanwhile, a mining company has applauded the budget.
Mark Chalmers, president and CEO of Colorado-based Energy Fuels Resources (USA) Inc reportedly said that nuclear reserve would preserve their capacity to produce uranium for the purpose of national security. Moreover, the idea for a reserve in the country was suggested by industry group the Nuclear Energy Institute to the Nuclear Fuel working Group, a panel set by US President to contribute ideas and recommendations to the domestic mining. An NEI fuel expert, Nima Ashkeboussi has reportedly supported the Trump administration for addressing the 'importance of a domestic uranium fuel supply'.