In 2019 the US Nuclear Fuel Working Group (NFWG) was established to promote US domestic uranium mining, milling and conversion industries.
In April 2020, because of the NFWG efforts the US Department of Energy released a strategy report, with strong bipartisan support, with recommendations to help revive the capabilities of the US domestic uranium mining, milling and conversion industries.
Amongst the key recommendations was the extension of the Russian Suspension Agreement (RSA) beyond the end of CY2020. The US Department of Commerce announced the completion and signing of an agreement extending and amending the terms of the RSA on 5 October 2020. The amended agreement limits the level of Russian participation in the US nuclear fuel markets through to the year 2040 and is a welcome accomplishment for the US uranium production industry as a whole. In December 2020, the US Congress passed an Omnibus Appropriations Bill codifying the amended RSA.
A second significant recommendation of the NFWG was the establishment of a US Uranium Reserve. A major domestic sector milestone was achieved in December 2020 with the United States Government funding the establishment of this reserve as a part of the passage of the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget. The US budget directs the U.S. Department of Energy to allocate US$75 million toward the establishment of a programme to operate a uranium reserve. This programme is being established, with cross-party support and provides a welcome boost for the uranium mining sector, with Washington expected to build on it over the coming years.