The outcome of the section 232 investigation by the United States Department of Commerce into foreign imports of uranium into the U.S. is excellent news for Australia’s world-class uranium producers.
The response by President Donald Trump to the investigation represents a balanced approach which recognises the importance of reliable energy suppliers like Australia.
The MCA acknowledges the Australian government’s strong advocacy in Washington DC for the interests of Australian exporters, particularly the uranium sector.
The outcome removes uncertainty affecting the global uranium market and clears the way for buyers and sellers to discuss long-term supply and demand arrangements.
Zero emission nuclear power provides almost 18 per cent of US electricity demand and around 60 per cent of US low emissions electricity generation, so a successful U.S. nuclear industry will support global climate goals.
While nuclear developments are thriving in countries like Russia and China, nuclear power faces challenges in the US due to low cost gas and government-supported renewable energy.
A strong, competitive, innovative and dynamic U.S. nuclear energy industry will support progress on zero emissions nuclear energy across the world, including advancing nuclear energy prospects in Australia based on leading-edge technology such as Small Modular Reactors.
The Administration’s establishment of a Working Group ‘to develop recommendations for reviving and expanding domestic nuclear fuel production’ will provide the needed focus to revitalise fuel cycle industries in the US.
The MCA also welcomes the reconfirmation that Australian uranium is used for peaceful purposes only, with the U.S. statement that: ‘The United States requires domestically produced uranium to satisfy Department of Defense (DOD) requirements for maintaining effective military capabilities’ confirming the sole use of Australian uranium for non-defence applications such as electricity and medicine.