A program that recycled Russian nuclear weapons into fuel-grade uranium has run its course, and Wyoming Mining Association Director Marion Loomis says that may leave more room in the marketplace for Wyoming’s uranium.
The disarmament project--known as the Megatons-to-Megawatts Program--converted weapons-grade uranium into fuel for nuclear power plants. Loomis says with new operations coming online in the state, Wyoming could produce as much as five-million pounds of uranium this year. But, he says, that’s not enough to satisfy the needs of the country’s 103 nuclear power plants.
“With the United States using 50, 55-million and Wyoming being the leading producer, obviously a lot of the uranium has to come from other sources,” Loomis says. “And those sources include the federal government, imports from Canada, Kazakhstan, and other countries around the world.”
Loomis says he hopes the federal government allows the marketplace to fill the gap, rather than dipping into its own stockpiles, which would compete with uranium-producing states like Wyoming.