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Trump grants 30-day extension for Nuclear Fuel Working Group recommendations

Washington — US President Donald Trump granted a 30-day extension to the deadline for the delivery of the recommendations of a working group considering ways to support US uranium miners and the nuclear energy industry overall, a US Department of Commerce spokesman said Tuesday.

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The recommendations of the White House Nuclear Fuel Working Group had been expected to be provided to Trump by October 10.

Trump created the Nuclear Fuel Working Group to report on all aspects of the nuclear fuel supply chain and make "recommendations to further enable domestic nuclear fuel production if needed" within 90 days, he said in a July 12 memorandum. That memorandum rejected limits on uranium import sought by US producers.

In a response to a petition from the producers, Commerce determined in April that uranium imports were threatening national security, but Trump said in his decision July 12 he did not agree with the determination and would not take immediate action to restrict imports. Instead, Trump created the working group to study the issue.

US uranium producers argue imports have hurt their business, reducing prices and forcing them to cut production and place mines on standby. The US increasingly relies on uranium from Russia and former Soviet republics, the mining companies that submitted the petition said.

Utilities, by contrast, argued to Commerce that uranium is plentiful and that allies like Australia and Canada are reliable suppliers.

-- Joniel Cha, Joniel.Cha@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Keiron Greenhalgh, newsdesk@spglobal.com