Moving quickly to procure uranium for many of the fuel-starved nuclear reactors in the country,India on Wednesday finalized two purchase agreements with Russia for supply of large quantities of uranium.
The Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) placed orders for 2000 tonnes of uranium for its various Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) with Russia’s TVEL,one of the largest suppliers of uranium in the world.
Simultaneously,it also renewed its order for 60 tonnes of low enriched uranium (LEU) from the same company for its two units at the Tarapur Atomic Power Station.
The orders are likely to materialise in the next couple of months.
The purchase agreements come within a week of NPCIL signing a commercial pact with France’s Areva for building two nuclear reactors in Jaitapur in Maharashtra. Areva would provide uranium for these reactors for their entire lifetime.
Russia is also responsible for ensuring life-time supplies of uranium for the four nuclear reactors it is building in Kudamkulam in Tamil Nadu. Two of these reactors are in the advanced stages of completion,with the first unit slated to be commissioned by June this year. The first consignment of uranium for the this soon-to-be-commissioned unit had arrived in May last year,sourced again from TVEL.
The purchase orders with the Russian company follow a civil nuclear cooperation agreement that India and Russia had signed during Russian President Dmitri Medvedev’s visit to New Delhi in December last year.