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DAE plans to involve private sector in uranium exploration

Published by MAC on 2006-04-10

DAE plans to involve private sector in uranium exploration

Hindu Businessline, Hyderabad

10th April 2006

The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) will outsource exploration activities to private sector in its bid to find larger deposits of uranium to fuel its ambitious nuclear power programme, according to Dr Anil Kakodkar, Secretary.

The country needs, around 100,000 tonnes of uranium in the near future to sustain the growing nuclear power projects. Currently, the country has confirmed reserves of 78,000 tonnes, he said while delivering a lecture at the Indian Geophysical Union (IGU) meeting.

Dr Kakodkar said that it was a big challenge to the Atomic Minerals Division (AMD), the National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI), Uranium Corporation of India Ltd (UCIL), etc., to intensify exploration and establish good quality uranium.

To supplement their efforts, it has been decided to involve the private sector in areas like data collection, utilisation of modern techniques, and processing, he added. He said that uranium shortage was not the issue on which India signed the nuclear deal with the US; "we are looking at a larger energy security and expansion of civilian nuclear programme. We already have eight new reactors under implementation, the two Russian reactors at Koodankulam are progressing well and have plans to reach 20,000 MW by 2020, which means a large demand for uranium and resources."

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