A new report from The Hill reveals Obama Administration agencies sent U.S. Uranium to Europe without an export license and in direct defiance of the Nuclear Regulatory Commissions’s order that no Uranium be exported.
While Uranium was sent to Europe, the Democrat- controlled congress turned a blind eye.
Around the time the Uranium One sale was being reviewed by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton received $500,000 from a Russian bank while the Clinton foundation received millions from Russian sources interested in the deal.
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley has called on a special counsel to investigate the deal to “get answer for the American people.”
As reported in TheHill
After the Obama administration approved the sale of a Canadian mining company with significant U.S. uranium reserves to a firm owned by Russia’s government, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission assured Congress and the public the new owners couldn’t export any raw nuclear fuel from America’s shores.
“No uranium produced at either facility may be exported,” the NRC declared in a November 2010 press release that announced that ARMZ, a subsidiary of the Russian state-owned Rosatom, had been approved to take ownership of the Uranium One mining firm and its American assets.
A year later, the nuclear regulator repeated the assurance in a letter to Sen. John Barrasso, a Wyoming Republican in whose state Uranium One operated mines.
“Neither Uranium One Inc. nor AMRZ holds a specific NRC export license. In order to export uranium from the United States, Uranium One Inc. or ARMZ would need to apply for and obtain a specific NRC license authorizing the exports of uranium for use in reactor fuel,” then-NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko wrote to Barrasso.
The NRC never issued an export license to the Russian firm, a fact so engrained in the narrative of the Uranium One controversy that it showed up in The Washington Post’s official fact-checker site this week. “We have noted repeatedly that extracted uranium could not be exported by Russia without a license, which Rosatom does not have,” the Post reported on Monday, linking to the 2011 Barrasso letter.
Yet NRC memos reviewed by The Hill show that it did approve the shipment of yellowcake uranium — the raw material used to make nuclear fuel and weapons — from the Russian-owned mines in the United States to Canada in 2012 through a third party. Later, the Obama administration approved some of that uranium going all the way to Europe, government documents show.
NRC officials said they could not disclose the total amount of uranium that Uranium One exported because the information is proprietary. They did, however, say that the shipments only lasted from 2012 to 2014 and that they are unaware of any exports since then.
NRC officials told The Hill that Uranium One exports flowed from Wyoming to Canada and on to Europe between 2012 and 2014, and the approval involved a process with multiple agencies.
Rather than give Rosatom a direct export license — which would have raised red flags inside a Congress already suspicious of the deal — the NRC in 2012 authorized an amendment to an existing export license for a Paducah, Ky.-based trucking firm called RSB Logistics Services Inc. to simply add Uranium One to the list of clients whose uranium it could move to Canada.
The license, reviewed by The Hill, is dated March 16, 2012, and it increased the amount of uranium ore concentrate that RSB Logistics could ship to the Cameco Corp. plant in Ontario from 7,500,000 kilograms to 12,000,000 kilograms and added Uranium One to the “other parties to Export.”
The move escaped notice in Congress.
Officials at RSB, Cameco and Rosatom did not return repeated phone calls or emails seeking comment.
Uranium One’s American arm, however, emailed a statement to The Hill on Wednesday evening confirming it did export uranium to Canada through the trucking firm and that 25 percent of that nuclear fuel eventually made its way outside North America to Europe and Asia, stressing all the exports complied with federal law.
“None of the US U308 product produced to date has been sold to non-US customers except for approximately 25% which was sold via book transfer at the conversion facilities to customers from Western Europe and Asia,” executive Martha Wickers said. “Any physical export of the product from conversion facilities to non-US destinations is under the control of such customers and subject to NRC regulation.”
The United States actually imports the majority of the uranium it uses as fuel. In 2016, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 24 percent of the imports came from Kazakhstan and 14 percent came from Russia.
The sale of Uranium One to a Russian state-owned firm, however, has created political waves that have led to multiple congressional investigations. Republicans say they want to learn how the sale could have been approved and whether there was political interference.
“The more that surfaces about this deal, the more questions it raises,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said in a statement released after this story was published. Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has launched an investigation into Uranium One.
“It now appears that despite pledges to the contrary, U.S. uranium made its way overseas as a part of the Uranium One deal,” Grassley said in the statement. “What’s more disturbing, those transactions were apparently made possible by various Obama Administration agencies while the Democrat-controlled Congress turned a blind eye.
“Americans deserve assurances that political influence was not a factor in all this. I’m increasingly convinced that a special counsel — someone with no prior involvement in any of these deals — should shine a light on this ordeal and get answers for the American people.”
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