The Obama administration approved sale of Uranium One, the Canadian mining company with significant US uranium reserves, continues to spread politically scandalous ripples long after his administration has ended.
The Hill, the political news website, has been able to look into memos detailing sales for the past years and was able to deduct that, though strictly forbidden, some US uranium did make its way overseas.
If you recall, a year after Uranium One was sold (in 2010) to a Russian conglomerate with Democrat Presidential approval, the Republicans asked for guarantees that no US uranium would ever fall in the hands of the wrong foreign actors. Therefore, in its reply to Senator John Barrasso, a Wyoming Republican, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission stated:
“Neither Uranium One Inc. nor AMRZ holds a specific NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission ) export license. In order to export uranium from the United States, Uranium One Inc. or ARMZ would need to apply for an obtain a specific NRC license authorizing the exports of uranium for use in reactor fuel.”
However, the sales memos show that Uranium One used a third party to distribute the US Uranium to, who then resold it with a small profit to a foreign actor in Europe and Asia, totaling some 25% of the total produced
As Uranium One executive Ms Martha Wickers admitted: “None of the US U308 product produced to date has been sold to non-US customers except for approximately 25% which was sold via book transfer at the conversion facilities to customers from Western Europe and Asia."
This also means that the possibility exists for North Korean government of Kim Jung Un to have bought US uranium via a middle man and that the fuel for their nuclear arsenal is of US making.
Republican Senator Chuck Grassley from Iowa responded harsh to the news: “The more that surfaces about this deal, the more questions it raises. It now appears that despite pledges to the contrary, U.S. uranium made its way overseas as a part of the Uranium One deal."