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Testimony - Uranium Mining: Contamination and Criticality

William Schneider

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Testimony of William Schneider, Jr. on H.R. 3405 (Removing Uranium from the Critical Materials List Act), a bill to direct the Secretary of the Interior to revise the Final List of Critical Materials and for other purposes.

Uranium Mining: Contamination and Criticality

Before the Committee on Natural Resources
Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources

I am grateful for the opportunity to appear before this Committee and provide information to support its deliberations on pending legislation.
I am William Schneider, Jr., a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC. I am a national security specialist and have served in a variety of capacities in the Federal government related to national security programs, technologies, policies, and budgets.

My comments here will be limited to addressing the national security implications of selected provisions of HR 3405, The Removing Uranium from the Critical Minerals List Act (To direct the Secretary of the Interior to revise the Final List of Critical Materials and Minerals and for other purposes). These comments build on my involvement in matters pertaining to the civil and military applications of atomic energy but are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of any private organization, government agency, or entity.

The scope of national security concerns

The scope of national security concerns has widened significantly since the end of the Cold War. “National Security” was the integrated product of diplomacy and national defense as a result of the creation of the Department of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the National Security Council. President Truman signed the legislation creating these institutions in The National Security Act of 1947. The statute mandated the restructuring of the US government’s diplomatic and national defense institutions to meet the challenges of the Cold War. As was the case throughout the Cold War, the US homeland was a sanctuary from which the US could reinforce its diplomatic leadership of a strong and committed alliance structure to conduct expeditionary campaigns from the US and bases abroad anywhere in the world.

The post-Cold War phenomena of the globalization of the international economy, the reduction in international barriers to the transfer of technology, and the development of the internet and new forms of communication has fundamentally altered and broadened the scope of national security. The concept of national security now includes not only traditional diplomacy and defense policy and operations; it also includes the need to protect the homeland and its ability to survive and operate in the face of existential threats that did not exist a quarter-century ago.

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