US continues to import uranium for nuclear reactors

Most of the uranium used to power nuclear reactors in the US is imported. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), owners and operators of nuclear power plants bought 57 […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Most of the uranium used to power nuclear reactors in the US is imported.

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), owners and operators of nuclear power plants bought 57 million pounds of uranium last year.

Nearly half of the purchases were from Canada and Kazakhstan, which provided 17 million pounds and 11 million pounds of uranium respectively.

That’s due to uranium production in the US reaching “near historic lows”.

Production in the first quarter of 2016 stood at 0.63 million pounds, with the EIA expecting it to reach only 2.5 million pounds in total this year.

Between 2004 and 2015, the US bought 677 million pounds of uranium and 592 million pounds were loaded into nuclear reactors.

Out of the 3.6 million pounds of US-produced uranium sold last year, 1.5 million pounds were bought by owners and operators of nuclear power reactors while the remaining 2.1 million pounds were sold.