This Uranium Deal Was No Scandal

Uranium ore is mined in many countries. But about 70 percent of world production comes from just three countries: Kazakhstan (almost 40 percent), Canada (over 20 percent) and Australia (nearly 10 percent). Of 68,000 tons mined annually, most goes to nuclear power utilities in some 30 countries.

American utilities buy nearly one-third of global uranium output. But mining in the United States accounts for only 2 percent of that total. That means that operators of American nuclear reactors get about 90 percent of their nuclear fuel from foreign sources.

.. Because American mining yields only 2 percent of world output, and under 10 percent of that comes from the Uranium One license, the allegation that this was a major prize for the Russians turns out to be absurd: Less than one-fifth of 1 percent of global output comes from Uranium One’s holdings in the United States.

.. Under a plan called “Megatons to Megawatts,” the Russian government took uranium for 20,000 Soviet-era nuclear warheads, converted it for nuclear power generation, then sold it to American utilities as fuel for some 100 reactors that produce nearly 20 percent of domestic electricity.

The plan ran for 20 years, and in most of that period provided nearly half of the uranium used in United States reactors. This meant that one out of every 10 American light bulbs were powered by fissile material once contained in nuclear warheads aimed at the United States and its allies.

Shep Smith and Sean Hannity live in different realities. That’s a problem for Fox News.

Smith and Hannity live in different realities, and that is a problem for Fox News. A division between news and opinion is standard — and healthy — at many media outlets, but facts and alternative facts cannot coexist.

.. In March, Fox News suspended legal analyst Andrew Napolitano for making an unsupported claim that British intelligence officials spied on Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign at the request of President Barack Obama.

In that case, as in the current one involving Clinton and Uranium One, it was Smith who set the record straight on his afternoon show.

.. This recent history would seem to bode well for Smith. When Hannity and Napolitano made assertions that were contrary to the reporting of others at Fox News, it was the pundits who had to back down or face a penalty.

.. “Were Fox forced to choose, it would choose Hannity over Shep,”

.. “The network has clearly placed its chips on Trump — witness the reshuffling of the lineup to highlight Trumpier voices, including Tucker Carlson — and you’d be hard-pressed to find a more pro-Trump voice than Hannity.”

.. “Rupert Murdoch highly prizes and highly pays Shep Smith because he brings credibility to the network. … Hannity gets away with a lot but also toes the line when he’s asked to.