While Rep. Howard Nielson, R-Utah, and others have long claimed that imported uranium is killing the domestic uranium industry, a federal agency announced this week that it will investigate such claims.

The Bureau of Export Administration in the U.S. Department of Commerce published a notice in the Federal Register that it will try to determine whether foreign competition is weakening domestic industry and whether domestic production must survive to protect national security.It asks interested people to submit 10 copies of relevant information to the Bureau of Export Administration, Room H4886, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th and Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20230.

It said public hearings may also be held on the matter and will be scheduled later.

The subject could be of great interest in Utah, where the once-powerful uranium industry has almost vanished. Only one uranium mine remains in Utah - which during the uranium boom had dozens.

Nielson and others have favored import restrictions or fees on foreign uranium to give domestic mines a better chance to survive and compete.