India needs 1 lakh tonnes uranium, says KakodkarPublished by MAC on 2006-04-11
India needs 1 lakh tonnes uranium, says Kakodkar
Special Correspondent, The Hindu
11th April 2006
HYDERABAD: Atomic Energy Commission chairman Anil Kakodkar has underlined the need for expediting uranium exploration in the country to meet the ever-increasing demand for energy.
While India has an estimated 78,000 tonnes reserves as of now, it will require another one lakh [100,000] tonnes of uranium to feed its reactors in the near future, he said expressing hope that the required reserves would be explored within four years.
Participating in a meeting of the Indian Geophysical Union here on Monday, Mr. Kakodkar said the Atomic Minerals Division of the Department of Atomic Energy had launched a major initiative to explore uranium.
The AMD was hopeful that high-grade ores with 10 to 12 per cent uranium would be found at a depth of more than 1,000 meters. The country was at present extracting uranium from ores that contained less than one per cent of the metal.
The department had formed a consortium of AMD, Electronics Corporation of India and Indira Gandhi Centre for Advanced Research to indigenously build systems that could detect deep, concealed deposits. It was likely to be developed within two years. The department was planning to outsource most of the exploration work to public and private companies to bring quick results as ``we have no time to lose,'' he said.
On the other issues, he said that the department is working out modalities for setting up its second facility at Visakhapatnam for further expanding the research and development in atomic energy field. Stating that work on eight more reactors at various places across the country was progressing at a brisk pace, he said that the reactors were being constructed with a site-specific earthquake resistant design.