Russian firm buying U.S. uranium mine

Dec. 12, 2010 at 5:00 PM
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SALT LAKE CITY, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- A Russian company has won approval to take over a U.S. uranium operation, including a whole town in Utah, an executive says.

Citing national security, four members of Congress had urged the U.S. Treasury to keep the Canadian Uranium One company from selling majority ownership to Atomredmetzoloto, whose parent entity is Rosatom, the Russian nuclear agency. One concern is that Rosatom has sent highly radioactive reactor fuel to Iran.

But the Treasury Department, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Utah Division of Radiation Control have approved the deal, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

"Uranium One has now received all necessary approvals," said Rob Buchanan, its head of investor relations, "and we are on track to close the transaction before the end of the year."

The Canadian company says U.S. assets will be unaffected. They include the Utah town of Ticaboo near Lake Powell, the nearby Shootaring Canyon uranium mill and more than 10,000 acres of uranium claims in Utah, plus additional holdings in South Dakota, Wyoming and Texas.

The Utah agency said it went along based on Uranium One's assurances that there would be no changes in operations.

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