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No nuclear fuel imports in FY22, 133 fuel assemblies to be imported in FY23: Govt

No nuclear fuel imports in FY22, 133 fuel assemblies to be imported in FY23: Govt

For financial year 2022-23, India plans to import 133 units of fuel assemblies and 100 metric tonne unit of natural uranium in the form of Uranium Ore Concentrate.

The minister said that the government has entered into an agreement with the Russian government for supply of fuel for Russian reactors at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP). The minister said that the government has entered into an agreement with the Russian government for supply of fuel for Russian reactors at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP).

The government informed the Parliament on Wednesday that no nuclear fuel is scheduled to be imported during the current financial year.

 

For financial year 2022-23, India plans to import 133 units of fuel assemblies and 100 metric tonne unit of natural uranium in the form of Uranium Ore Concentrate, Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions and PMO Jitendra Singh said in the Lok Sabha. 

 

He was responding to an unstarred question about the status of nuclear fuel imports to India. 

 

The minister said that the government has entered into an agreement with the Russian government for supply of fuel for Russian reactors at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP). KNPP is the largest nuclear power station in India, situated in Tamil Nadu. 

 

Further, India has also signed agreements for uranium purchase with Canada, Kazakhasthan and Uzbekistan. The government further said that the uranium fuel requirement for the reactors which are under domestic safeguards is met by Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL), a public sector enterprise under the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE). 

 

"Time to time, projects which include capacity expansion of some of existing units as well as for establishing new projects in various parts of the country, are planned for maintaining sustained supply," the minister said in a written answer.


Meanwhile, a 2018 parliamentary panel report recommended the government to take steps to ensure new uranium mines are opened as soon as possible to reduce the dependence on imported uranium.

 

Currently, a major portion of the domestic production of uranium comes from Jaduguda mines of Jharkhand, which are "old" and the ore is found at "great depths." Moreover, the high extraction cost makes it "unviable" as compared to imported uranium, the panel noted.

 

Uranium is extracted from the Tummalapalle mines in Andhra Pradesh, Meghalaya, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

 

India has 22 nuclear power reactors, and domestic uranium is used in nuclear plants which are not under the international nuclear energy watchdog, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).