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Nuclear explained Where our uranium comes from

The United States imports most of the uranium it uses as fuel

Uranium is the fuel most widely used by nuclear power plants for nuclear fission. Uranium is a common metal found in rocks all over the world. Uranium occurs in combination with small amounts of other elements. There are economically recoverable uranium deposits in the western United States, Australia, Canada, Central Asia, Africa, and South America.

Owners and operators of U.S. nuclear power reactors purchased the equivalent of about 40 million pounds of uranium in 2018. About 10% of uranium purchases in 2018 were from U.S. suppliers, and 90% came from other countries.

  • Sources and shares of total U.S. purchases of uranium in 2018 were
  • Canada24%
  • Kazakhstan20%
  • Australia18%
  • Russia13%
  • U.S. suppliers10%
  • Uzbekistan6%
  • Namibia5%
  • China, Niger, South Africa, and others combined3%

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Last updated: July 17, 2019