Tuesday, July 19, 2011

India reveals ‘world’s biggest’ uranium mine in Andhra Pradesh

India reveals ‘world’s biggest’ uranium mine

India's southern state of Andhra Pradesh may have one of the largest reserves of uranium in the world, the country's chief nuclear officer says.

Exploration work is underway in Tummalapalle

Studies show Tummalapalle in Kadapa district could have reserves of 150,000 tonnes of the mineral, Atomic Energy Commission chief S Banerjee said.

India has estimated reserves of about 175,000 tonnes of uranium.

India plans to expand its nuclear power generation capacity from 4.7 giga watts (GW) now to 7.3 GW by the end of March 2012 and 20 GW by 2020. To make this possible, the country has signed a landmark nuclear power deal with the United States and opened up its estimated $150 billion nuclear power market to private reactor builders.
India’s fast-growing economy is heavily dependent on coal, getting less than three percent of its energy from atomic power. It hopes to raise the figure to 25 percent by 2050.

Construction began on Monday of two new indigenously-designed 700-megawatt nuclear plants in the western state of Rajasthan, the government said in a statement.

India currently has 20 nuclear reactors generating 4,780 megawatts of power, plus seven reactors with a capacity of 5,300 megawatts under construction, it said. New Delhi — backed by the US — won a special exemption in 2008 from the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), which governs global nuclear trade, to allow it to buy reactors and fuel from overseas.

The country had been subject to an embargo since 1974 when it first conducted a nuclear weapons test. Countries are normally required to have signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and open their reactors to international scrutiny before they can buy atomic technology and uranium.

Companies from France, Russia, the United States and Japan are competing for a slice of the $175 billion that India plans to spend on nuclear reactors. Since Japan’s Fukushima crisis in March, environmentalists have campaigned to stop construction of new nuclear plants in India but the government has vowed to press ahead with its plans.

Regular protests have been held by residents at Jaitapur on the west coast of India, where a huge six-reactor, 9,900-megawatt plant is scheduled to begin construction in 2013.

Source: www.priyo.com

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