USA - uranium and list
AtomInfo.Ru, PUBLISHED 05.03.2022
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) proposed at the end of February 2022 to exclude natural uranium from the federal list of critical minerals.
Critical minerals, or minerals that are critical to the US economy and national security, are determined based on a list of criteria that include physical scarcity, supply chain security, import dependency, and a range of other criteria.
The list of critical minerals is published by the US Department of the Interior.
The USGS has proposed delisting uranium, citing a legal requirement that "fuel minerals" cannot be listed. If the proposal is accepted, it will be a serious defeat for the American uranium mining sector, which is already going through hard times.
The Department of Energy (DoE) hastened to speak out in defense of the uranium companies. The agency said it is preparing its own list of critical minerals and believes uranium is "critical" to the transition to carbon-free energy.
At the same time, however, the DoE did not disclose whether uranium will be included in the list from the DoE. So far, uranium has only been described in the DoE as a material of concern, along with cobalt, tellurium and the rare earths.
The DoE plans to consult with stakeholders and develop a "process" for making recommendations on critical minerals of particular relevance to the DoE's challenges.
The energy industry fears a possible interruption in the supply of uranium from Russia and Kazakhstan, although at the moment no decisions have been made to stop uranium imports to the United States.
Supporters of excluding uranium from the list of critical minerals have their own logic, more mundane. They believe that if uranium remains on the list, this will lead to a revival of uranium mining in the United States, and this is not liked by some politicians from the Democratic Party and environmental activists.
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