New Delhi: The Government in July 2014 had announced tripling of the then existing capacity of 4780 MW in the next ten years (viz. by the year 2024). Setting up of more nuclear power plants based on both indigenous technologies and with foreign technical cooperation are part of this programme.
Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration & Research (AMD), a constituent Unit under Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) has carried out survey and exploration of Uranium resulting in establishing 2,25,936t in-situ U3O8 (1,91,594t U) reserves as of June, 2015.
21 nuclear power reactors are under operation in the country with an installed generating capacity of 5780 MWe. Thirteen (13) reactors with a total installed capacity of 3380 MW (excepting one reactor of 100 MW capacity located at Rawatbhata, Rajasthan which is under extended shutdown for techno-economic assessment) are under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards and are eligible for imported fuel. To meet requirement of fuel for reactors under IAEA safeguards, agreements for import of uranium are signed with M/s Navoi Mining & Metallurgical Combinat State Company (NMMC), Uzbekistan; M/s JSC TVEL Corporation, Russia; M/s NAC Kazatomprom, Kazakhstan, and M/s CAMECO, Canada.
Eight (8) reactors with a total installed capacity of 2400 MW are fuelled by indigenous fuel. The Government have made efforts to augment indigenous uranium supply by opening of new mines and processing facilities thus narrowing down the demand-supply gap for reactors using indigenous fuel. As a result, there has been a progressive improvement in capacity utilisation of nuclear power plants.
Contracts have recently been entered into for import of Uranium with M/s. CAMECO, Canada for supply of 2750–3000 MT of Uranium Ore Concentrate during 2015–2020; and M/s. Kazatomprom, Kazakhstan for supply of 5000 MT of Uranium Ore Concentrate during 2015–2019.
This information was given by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh in reply to unstarred question in Lok Sabha today.