To fulfill the requirement of nuclear power reactors, India will sign a contract with Kazakhstan to procure 5,000 metric tonnes of uranium, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits the Central Asian nation tomorrow.
Sources said the two countries will renew their old contract under which Kazakhstan supplied uranium to India. India and Kazakhstan already have civil nuclear cooperation since January 2009 when NPCIL and Kazakh nuclear company KazAtomProm signed an MoU under which KazAtomProm supplies uranium for Indian reactors.
Following this, KazAtomProm supplied 600 MT of uranium ore concentrate in 2010-11, 350 MT in 2011-12, 402.5 MT in 2012-13 and 460 MT in 2013-14. However, the contract to supply uranium ended in December 2014. “India will be renewing its contract with Kazakhstan,” said a senior government official.
Kazakhstan is one of the major uranium suppliers to India. It has 15 per cent of the world’s uranium resources andbecame the leading uranium-producing country in 2009. Apart from Kazakhstan, India also has an agreement with Uzbekistan, another Central Asian country, to procure uranium.
Incidentally, during his visit to Australia last year and Canada early this year, Modi pressed in for buying uranium for the Indian power reactors, which for all these years had been running beyond their capacity due to lack of fuel.