US nuclear plants rely on foreign uranium in 2012

5 September 2013

Some 48 million pounds or 83% of the total uranium purchased by US nuclear power plants in 2012 was of foreign origin, according to figures from the US Energy Information Administration. In addition, over a third (38%) of the enriched uranium needed to fabricate fuel for US reactors was supplied by foreign enrichers.

In 2012, 84% of foreign-supplied uranium came from Canada, Russia, Australia, Kazakhstan, and Namibia. The rest came from Uzbekistan, Niger, South Africa, Brazil, China, Malawi, and Ukraine, EIA said.

Also 2012, a total of 52 million pounds of uranium hexafluoride (UF6) was delivered to enrichers in China, France, Germany, Netherlands, Russia, United Kingdom, and the United States. Enrichers in the United States received 62% of the deliveries, and the remaining 38% went to foreign enrichers.

In 2012, the average price per SWU was $141.36, and owners and operators of US commercial nuclear power reactors purchased enrichment services totalling 16 million SWU, EIA said. This represents a total cost to the owners and operators of US commercial nuclear power reactors of about $2.3 billion.

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