Uranium Enrichment Policies and Operations:

Status and Future Needs

EMD-77-64: Published: Nov 18, 1977. Publicly Released: Nov 18, 1977.

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The three U.S. Government-owned uranium enrichment plants which prepare uranium for use as a nuclear reactor fuel provide enrichment services to all U.S. nuclear reactors, all Government research and weapons programs, and most foreign reactors.

When additional enrichment plants beyond those currently planned will be needed depends largely on nuclear power growth, the U.S. share of the foreign enrichment service market, and the use of existing plants and enriched uranium supplies. If there is a uranium shortage and the United States obtains 35% of the foreign market, future enrichment plants will be needed by the 1990's. The only option for meeting long-term demand is to build additional plants.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: The Secretary of the Department of Energy should: document the results of monitoring the impact of removing or relaxing restrictions on utilities' use of foreign uranium for use by Congress, industry, and the public; promptly publicize the agency's current stockpile policy and the basis for that policy; examine, with the Department of Defense, the advantages and disadvantages of using some retired weapons material in the civilian nuclear power program rather than using it solely to produce new weapons; prepare and implement a new operating strategy and make it available in report form to interested parties; determine, with the Department of State, the portion of the foreign market necessary to achieve the President's nonproliferation objectives and establish foreign enrichment goals by which to measure the Nation's progress in achieving those objectives and to facilitate planning for future enrichment plants; gradually increase the price of all uranium sold from its stockpile until it equals the market price at the time the Government's uranium is sold; and discontinue the policy of allowing credits for uranium obtained from residual material that is being recycled and charge customers for the uranium they receive.


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