India and its new quest for uranium – short supply, desperate need10 September 2010
India is following China's lead with an ambitious plan to build new nuclear reactors. But India is in desperate need for uranium and will need to plan accordingly at home and with international partners to feed tomorrow's energy needs.
By Paul French, Asia Correspondent
In previous articles in Nuclear Energy Insider we’ve covered how China’s current and ongoing ramp up of nuclear power is affecting global uranium prices and leading to a flurry of both new deals around the world and diplomatic engagement by Beijing to ensure supplies everywhere from Canada and Australia to Kazakhstan and Mongolia.
Lagging behind China?
However, while China has made most of the running and the news in additional reactor capacity, India is also clearly important.
China currently has over 60GW of additional nuclear capacity either under construction or in the planning stage; India follows China’s global lead with a planned 24GW of planned capacity additions by 2020.
This equates to 19 reactors currently operating, four under construction, 20 planned and another 40 in the proposal stages, according to statistics from the World Nuclear Association.
While China has found and begun to exploit additional deposits of uranium on its own territory (notably in Sichuan Province) and entered into a large number of sourcing agreements, India though suffers from having only miniscule deposits of uranium on its territory and those that exist are deemed to be of generally poor quality.
Additionally, in contrast to China, India’s nuclear programme has had relatively little contact with the outside world.