Economy

India, Australia to sign nuclear cooperation pact

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, with Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, during a ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Friday. Photo: PTI

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The country needs 1,000 tonnes of uranium a year

The civil nuclear co-operation pact with Australia will give a fillip to India’s nuclear power generation programme.

The country currently generates 4,780 MW from six nuclear plants with another seven reactors under construction it will add 6,100 MW. The target is to set up 63,000 MW by 2032 by adding nearly 30 reactors – at an estimated cost of $85 billion.

Share of electricity from nuclear power plants is only 3.14 per cent of the total electricity generation capacity of 249,488 GW as of June 30, falling from 3.68 per cent in 2011-12.

India currently gets uranium from France, Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan and has total requirement of around 1,000 tonne a year. Australia, which has the largest uranium reserves in the world estimated to be around 31 per cent of the world’s reserves, also has some of the cheapest reserves.

According to the World Nuclear Organisation almost half of the Australian reserves are in the under $80/kg price category. This is due to the easier extraction of the mineral from the mines there.

Indian miners are also interested in mining uranium in Australia.

“The decision on allowing uranium export to India is a decision that the Federal Government of Australia will have to take. But Indian companies have expressed interest and they have visited some of the mines,” said Parag Shirname, Trade & Investment Commissioner - South Asia, Government of Queensland, last week.

Published on September 05, 2014

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