NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan – Kazakhstan’s National Atomic Company Kazatomprom has issued a statement following US Presidents Donald J. Trump’s decision to leave the current US uranium market unchanged.
“We welcome President Trump’s decision to decline the pursuit of restrictive trade actions on imports of uranium,” Kazatomprom CEO Galymzhan Pirmatov said.
“Kazatomprom reiterates its long-held belief that intervention in any form is undesirable, as it can create significant distortion in an already fragile nuclear fuel market by incentivising uneconomic production that relies on government support. A healthy global uranium market is the best solution to ensure future US security of supply,” Kazatomprom said in a statement.
Kazatomprom delivers uranium and nuclear fuel products to utility customers around the world, including a number of customers in the US. “In recent years, most of the major uranium mining companies, including Kazatomprom, have reduced production volumes, with the belief that these measures, and not market intervention, will help rebalance supply and demand and ultimately lead to a sustainable recovery of the uranium market,” the Kazakh company said.
“In its original submission to the US Department of Commerce (DoC) in September, 2018, Kazatomprom stated its commitment to transparency and a commercial focus, clarifying that the company does not receive any state support or subsidies, counter to the claims of some respondents to the 232 investigation,” Kazatomprom said, adding that the company also highlighted its concern that some utilities operating nuclear power plants in the US already face challenges competing against cheap natural gas and subsidized, non-baseload renewables. “As such, the imposition of tariffs or quotas resulting in increased nuclear fuel costs would have made an already difficult situation even worse. Aside from threatening thousands of highly skilled jobs, reducing the proportion of baseload power supplied by nuclear would also have a negative impact on air quality, climate and human health,” Kazatomprom said.
“This decision is a clear win for US nuclear electricity producers and their customers,” Pirmatov said, adding: “It sends a positive message that the Trump Administration does not want to undermine the competitiveness of clean nuclear generation in the US.”