The July 9 editorial “Over the limit” underestimated the threat resulting from Iran breaching its uranium enrichment limits and failed to put these actions into a broader, strategic context.
Today, Iran’s enrichment capacity exceeds our own. Meanwhile, the United States’ dependence on imported uranium is creating a growing national security threat. Nearly all the uranium that fuels the nuclear power plants that provide 20 percent of our electricity is imported. These imports increasingly come from Russia and other former Soviet Union states, whose state-owned companies are flooding the global market and driving free-market companies out of business. At the same time, the stockpile of uranium used to meet our defense needs is declining rapidly.
U.S. uranium production has reached the lowest levels in the nuclear age, dropping 37 percent from 2017 to 2018. Production in Canada and Australia, our free-market allies, is also declining rapidly. Even if allied production survives, nonproliferation treaties require that we use U.S. uranium for defense and national security applications. For these reasons, it is time to protect the U.S. uranium sector and eliminate the national security threat posed by foreign uranium imports.
Spencer Abraham, McLean