25-09-2017 10:00 AM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
India to procure uranium from Uzbekistan
For the optimum utilization of power reactors in India, the government has planned to create a uranium reserve and is in talks with various countries for the same. A senior government official said that talks are currently being held with Uzbekistan and a delegation from the Central Asian country had visited India last month to discuss the issue in detail.
The government plans to create a strategic uranium reserve to sustain the country’s nuclear power reactors for the next five years so that they do not stop functioning because of the lack of uranium.
Owing to the sanctions imposed on India by the West following the Pokhran test in 1974, there was a shortage of uranium in the country due to which its power reactors were underperforming.
After Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s bilateral talks with Uzbek president Shavkat Mirziyoyev in June this year, the latter has agreed to export uranium to India. Negotiations are going on with Uzbekistan which is the seventh largest exporter of uranium in the world.
New Delhi’s quest to have a uranium reserve got a thrust after importing fuel became much easier due to the Indo-US nuclear cooperation agreement. Although India also produces uranium, it falls short of the requirement and hence currently imports uranium from Kazakhstan and Canada. This is primarily used to fuel its indigenously built Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors.