EIA could not publicly release data for U.S. production of uranium concentrate (U3O8) in the second quarter of 2020. Domestic uranium production has declined considerably in recent years, and activity did not reach a threshold where a specific production figure could be published without violating the protections that EIA has committed to provide.
U.S. production of uranium concentrate (U3O8) in the first quarter of 2020 was 8,098 pounds (3.1 t U), down 79% from the fourth quarter of 2019 and down 86% from the first quarter of 2019.
Therefore, uranium industry in the United States is nearly extinct by now. This begs the question why the largest economy in the world and the biggest consumer of uranium globally (U.S. nuclear plants burn ~21,000 tonnes of natural uranium each year) allowed itself to be almost fully reliant on import of this critical metal?
As a partial response, President Donald Trump’s 2021 budget proposed $150 million for the creation of a U.S. uranium reserve as the administration seeks to help struggling producers of the fuel for nuclear power reactors. The money, if approved by Congress, would begin the process of purchasing uranium.
For our opinion, that is just a drop in the bucket. One of the world’s largest uranium industries in the past deserves better.