Kazakhstan becomes leading uranium supplier to U.S. nuclear reactors

Courtesy of EIA

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released a report on Monday that indicated Kazakhstan has become the leading uranium supplier to U.S. nuclear reactors.

In 2014, the U.S. purchased approximately 12 million pounds of uranium from Kazakhstan. This amount is nearly twice the 6.5 million pounds purchased in 2013. Following Kazakhstan, Canada and Australia are the second- and third-largest suppliers of U.S. nuclear reactor uranium.

The EIA said Kazakhstan became the global leader in uranium production in 2009 and  that production tripled since 2007. Prior to that, Canada was the world's leading uranium producer.

The EIA said uranium from Kazakhstan was listed at $44.47 per pound in 2014, which is slightly lower than a weighted average of $46.65 per pound from other uranium-supplying countries.

Kazakhstan launched a national effort to revitalize the country's nuclear industry with the establishment of Kazatomprom in 1997. This state-owned company manages all of the country's uranium extraction and export operations. Increasing mining operations was achieved through cooperative measures with international companies and the encouragement of investment in the national nuclear industry. The U.S. lifted a ban on Kazakhstan's ability to sell uranium to the U.S. in 1992.

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