Trump requests $1.5B to establish uranium reserve

This April 11, 2015, photo provided by EcoFlight shows the White Mesa Uranium Mill near Blanding in southeastern Utah. The Trump administration is asking Congress for $1.5 billion over 10 years to build up a U.S. uranium stockpile, saying it wants to break an over-reliance on foreign uranium that undermines U.S. energy security. The White Mesa facility is one of the sites where production could be ramped up under the proposal. (Dom Smith/EcoFlight via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP/KEVN/KOTA TV) - President Donald Trump's fiscal 2021 budget proposal has requested an annual allocation of $150 million for a 10-year period, totaling $1.5 billion, to establish a United States uranium reserve, noting that, "establishing a uranium reserve provides assurance of availability of uranium in the event of a market disruption and supports strategic U.S. fuel cycle capabilities."

Blake Steele, President and CEO of Arzaga Uranium, stated, "Our flagship asset, the advantage stage Dewey Burdock In-Situ Recovery Uranium Project in South Dakota (the "Dewey Burdock Project"), is one of the preeminent undeveloped uranium projects in the United States." Arzaga Uranium is a uranium exploration and development company that controls ten projects and prospects in South Dakota, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado.

According to an Associated Press release, Sen. John Barrasso, a Wyoming Republican and chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, backed Trump’s proposal. “The United States should not be dependent on foreign imports of uranium. It is a risk to our national security,” Barrasso said in a statement.

Trump also said that, "United States uranium industry faces significant challenges in producing uranium domestically and that this is an issue of national security." The proposed fiscal 2021 budget addresses immediate challenges to the production of domestic uranium.

The Dewey Burdock Uranium Project, located in Fall River County, has received draft permits from the Environmental Protection Agency, but does not have the final permits yet.