The Department of Energy (DOE) holds approximately the equivalent of 59,000 tons of natural uranium. This includes low-enriched uranium, highly enriched uranium, depleted uranium left over from past enrichment, and natural uranium. With additional processing, much of it could be used to fuel America’s nuclear reactors. Depending on the spot price of uranium and the process required to get it to usable form, the DOE’s excess uranium is worth approximately $7 billion.

Leaving the uranium under government control makes no sense. It not only denies taxpayers the value of the asset but costs them additional dollars to store and to maintain it. Further, it denies American electricity consumers access to a valuable energy resource. But releasing this uranium must be done in an organized way to maximize taxpayer benefit without undue disruption to global uranium markets.

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