US NNSA initiates process to purchase strategic uranium

01 July 2022

The US National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has begun the process to initiate the USA's strategic uranium reserve, issuing a solicitation to purchase up to an estimated one million pounds of domestically-produced U3O8.

(Image: Angelique Johnson/Pixabay)

The solicitation - which is issued as a Request for Proposal (RFP) - is for purchase of uranium "provided by a vendor that has produced uranium at a domestic uranium recovery facility at any time since 1 January 2009," where a uranium recovery facility is defined as a licensed uranium mining, in-situ leach or milling facility. The vendor is not required to be currently producing uranium at a uranium recovery facility.

The uranium must be from inventory already in storage at the Honeywell Metropolis Works uranium conversion facility in Metropolis, Illinois, and must not have been "exchanged, swapped, or augmented with uranium imported from foreign countries and shall not have any peaceful-use or end-use restrictions."

The government anticipates making up to four individual awards of 100,000 to 500,000 pounds U3O8 for the total of 1 million pounds U3O8 (385 tU).

The US Congress allocated funding for the establishment of the reserve, to address challenges to the production of domestic uranium and ensure a backup supply in the event of a significant market disruption, in its 2020 budget. US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm in May confirmed to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources that the Department of Energy (DOE) would make purchases for the reserve during the present calendar year.

The deadline for proposals is 1 August.

NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the DOE.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News