Senate OKs bill giving Congress review of Iran nuclear deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate muscled its way into President Barack Obama's talks to curb Iran's nuclear program, overwhelmingly backing legislation Thursday that would let Congress review and possibly reject any final deal with Tehran.

The vote was 98-1 for the bipartisan bill that would give Congress a say on what could be a historic accord that the United States and five other nations are trying to finalize with Iran. Under the agreement, Iran would roll back its nuclear program in exchange for relief from crippling economy penalties.

GAO, House knock DOE on uranium management issues

The Energy Department’s program for managing excess uranium through transfers and sales is riddled with problems, including legal issues and inconsistent methods for valuing sales, according to a government auditor, who added that the DOE isn’t properly assessing impact sales and transfers have on the domestic uranium market.

In testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on the Interior Wednesday, Government Accountability Office Natural Resources and Environment Director David Trimble said the GAO has identified issues with the program since 2006.

Obama says Iran could cut nuke time to near zero in 13 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defending an emerging nuclear deal, President Barack Obama said Iran would be kept a year away from obtaining a nuclear weapon for more than a decade, but conceded Tuesday that the buffer period could shrink to almost nothing after 13 or more years.

Obama, whose top priority at the moment is to sell the framework deal to critics, was pushing back on the charge that the deal fails to eliminate the risk because it allows Iran to keep enriching uranium. He told NPR News that Iran will be capped for a decade at 300 kilograms — not enough to convert to a stockpile of weapons-grade material.

U.S. Congress Photo

Two DOE nuclear fuel projects axed in Markey-Blumenaeur proposal

The Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility at Savannah River and the Uranium Processing Facility at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory would be killed under legislation to slash spending on nuclear weapons, proposed Monday by two Democratic lawmakers.

The bill, introduced by Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Rep. Earl Blumenaeur, D-Ore., would cut $100 billion from nuclear weapons activity over the next decade, including termination of construction of the MOX facility at the Energy Department's Savannah River Site in South Carolina and cancelation of construction of the upgraded nuclear processing facility at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

Poneman to take the reins at uranium firm Centrus


Daniel Poneman, who used to hold the number-two position at the Energy Department, will become president and CEO of uranium enrichment company Centrus Energy, formerly the U.S. Enrichment Corp., E&E reports.

Gloom hangs over Canadian uranium miner Cameco

The Wall Street Journal

Canada’s uranium miner Cameco Corp. looks set to produce its worst set of results in a decade as the doldrums in the uranium market triggered by the Fukushima Dai-ichi disaster in 2011 continues, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Uranium M&A: Energy Fuels acquiring Uranerz


Two uranium producers are joining in a $150 million deal: Energy Fuels Inc. is acquiring Uranerz Energy Corp., Bloomberg reports.

NRC: 6 workers inhaled uranium at Wyoming mine

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Six workers at a Wyoming uranium mine inhaled the radioactive element while cleaning up a spill inside a processing building just days before the mine delivered its first shipment last year, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The workers' urine tested positive for uranium at close to seven times the federal agency's permissible level, the federal agency alleges in a Nov. 14 violation notice against Lost Creek LLC ISR, a subsidiary of Littleton, Colorado-based Ur-Energy.

Uranium rebounding from Fukushima disaster


Uranium prices are on track for an 18 percent increase in 2014, which would be the first annual gain for the energy commodity in four years and make it the best performing category in the sector, Bloomberg reports.

Senators warn sanctions if Iran deal unacceptable

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Democratic and Republican senators largely responsible for tough sanctions on Iran are warning of more penalties if any deal with Tehran on its nuclear work is unacceptable.

Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, and GOP Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois said in a statement Wednesday that a good deal must dismantle, not stall, Iran's nuclear program. They said it must prevent Tehran from being on the cusp of becoming a nuclear weapons state.


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