After the sale of a Canadian mining company with American uranium reserves was approved by the Obama administration in 2010, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission reassured both Congress and the public that no raw nuclear fuel would be exported by the new Russian owners from the shores of America.
“No uranium produced at either facility may be exported,” the NRC declared, restating the same claim a year later that neither the ARMZ nor the Uranium One mining company had an NRC export license that would give them the authority to export uranium to be used in reactor fuel.
This fact has been pointed out repeatedly, even though the NRC memos, which the Hill has reviewed, clearly indicate that in 2012 the regulatory commission approved such shipments to Canada from the U.S. mines, owned by the Russian company. Government documents also reveal that some of the yellowcake uranium was later exported to Europe, through a third party, with the approval of the Obama administration.
NRC officials said these shipments took place in the period between 2012 and 2014, but added that they are not aware of any other exports since them. To avoid raising concerns in Congress, in 2012 the NRC added an amendment to a preexisting export license for RSB Logistics Service Inc, a trucking company, which made Uranium One one of their clients and allowed them to transport their uranium to Canada.
The Hill later reviewed the license and found out that it increased the total amount of uranium concentrate the company could move to Ontario by more than 4,000 kilograms. In a statement, Uranium One verified the export through the trucking company and the fact that one quarter of the uranium made its way to Europe and Asia.
“None of the U.S. U308 product produced to date has been sold to non-U.S. customers except for approximately 25% which was sold via book transfer at the conversion facilities to customers from Western Europe and Asia,” executive Martha Wickers said.