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India plans tenfold increase in uranium production

Indian uranium mine. Indias need for uranium will increase 10-fold by 2032 as Asia's third-largest energy consumer boosts nuclear power generation, the country's monopoly atomic generator forecast today. Foto: Uran Corporation of India Ltd,UCIL)
Indian uranium mine. Indias need for uranium will increase 10-fold by 2032 as Asia's third-largest energy consumer boosts nuclear power generation, the country's monopoly atomic generator forecast today. Foto: Uran Corporation of India Ltd,UCIL)
Published by
Markku Björkman - 12 Mar 2018

India plans a tenfold increase in uranium production over the next 15 years, told the Prime Minister Jitendra Singh recently the country's parliament.

The state company Uran Corporation of India Ltd (UCIL) has drafted concrete expansion plans to implement the Indian Atomic Energy Department, DAE's vision of full self-sufficiency in uranium production.

Singh told us that UCIL, a public service company working with DAE, has outlined a plan for "massive expansion" that will result in a tenfold increase in uranium production 2031-2032.

According to Singh, the plan includes maintenance of existing facilities, capacity building in some existing nuclear units and construction of new production facilities (mines and power plants) in different parts of the country.

- Given the resources already identified in various geological areas of the Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD), a permanent unit of DAE, UCIL plans the construction of large production centers in Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Rajasthan, and Meghalaya, explained Singh.

The expansion will be carried out in three phases, with the first expected to increase uranium output to 3.5 times existing levels during the "12th year".

 The completion of the second phase of the project is expected to achieve a multiplicity of growth compared to current production, with the third phase of the project expected to lead to a tenfold increase over current levels before the years 2031-32.

According to the 2016 edition of the OECD Nuclear Power Plant section and the International Atomic Energy Agency's Joint Report on Uranium Resources, Production and Demand ("Red Book"), India's known conventional uranium resources, according to a reasonable estimate, amounted to 181 606 GT in January 2015.

Active Indian uranium factories are currently in Jadugudah and Turamdih, as well as in Jharkhand and Tummalapalle in Andhra Pradesh.

India produced 385 to in 2015 and the country currently carries 22 nuclear reactors, eight of which are using domestic uranium. Fourteen reactors are exposed to international protection measures and use imported uranium.

Six units, four domestic-designed pressure water reactors, a so-called rapid reactor and a Russian designed pressure water reactor, are under construction.

India plans to launch 19 additional units in the next few years, including ten domestic-designed PHWRs, which are scheduled to start before 2031. Current agreements guarantee imports of uranium by 2020, said Singh.

Source: World Nuclear News