Congress Expands Uranium One Probe After Senator Claims Obama Admin Misled Him Over Yellowcake Exports

Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) is turning up the heat on the Uranium One investigation, demanding documents from both the Energy Department and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in a Monday letter to both entities. Barrasso wants to find out if he was intentionally misled by the Obama administration about Uranium One being able to export yellowcake uranium out of the United States after the company was acquired by Russia. 

Barrasso writes: 

Prior to the approval of the sale [of Uranium One], I wrote to then-President Barack Obama registering my strong concerns regarding Russian control over American uranium production facilities and Russia’s ability to ship U.S. uranium overseas. I also requested immediate notification should ARMZ file for a license to export U.S. uranium. Based on information that has recently come to light, I now believe the response I received, and the process by which I received it, were both misleading.

On March 21, 2011, former NRC Chairman Greg Jaczko responded to my letter on behalf of then-President Obama stating:

‘At this time, neither Uranium One Inc. nor ARMZ holds a specific NRC export license. In order to export uranium from the United States, Uranium One, Inc. or 

ARMZ would need to apply for and obtain a specific NRC license authorizing the export of uranium for use in reactor fuel’

The NRC staff made a similar statement in their recommendation to approve the transfer control of Uranium One to ARMZ, stating: 

before the licensee may export uranium to a foreign country, they must first comply with the NRC’s regulations and seek a specific license for such purpose.

Recent reporting by The Hill uncovered that Uranium One was able to export uranium without obtaining a specific export license. Beginning in 2012, Uranium One exported U.S. uranium by ‘piggy-backing’ as a supplier on an export license held by the shipping company, RSB Logistic Services Inc.

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