India to undertake massive expansion of Uranium program


Uranium Corporation of India Ltd. has outlined a plan for massive expansion, said 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 written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.

The MoS (PMO) Dr Jitendra Singh met with Australian Minister for Resources on March 8, 2017 in New Delhi during which both sides had general exchange of views regarding promotion of mutually beneficial cooperation between India and Australia in the field of civil nuclear energy.

Uranium Corporation of India Ltd., a Public Sector Undertaking under Department of Atomic Energy is engaged in mining and processing of uranium ore in the country. The company is currently operating seven uranium mines (Bagjata, Jaduguda, Bhatin, Narwapahar, Turamdih, Banduhurang and Mohuldih) and two processing plants (Jaduguda plant and Turamdih plant) in the state of Jharkhand. Construction of mine and plant has been started at Tummalapalle in Andhra Pradesh. UCIL has outlined a plan for massive expansion which includes plan to maintain sustained supply from existing facilities, capacity expansion of some existing units and construction of new production centers (mines and plants) in different parts of the country. Considering the resources already identified in different geological basins by Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD), UCIL’s major production centers are planned in Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Rajasthan and Meghalaya.

According to Jitendra Singh, the details of sites accorded “in-principle” approval for setting up nuclear power plants in the northern and eastern region are as follows: Gorakhpur, Haryana (4 x 700), Mahi Banswara, Rajasthan (4 x 700), Haripur, West Bengal (6 x 1000).

There is presently no proposal to set up nuclear power plants in the North Eastern region. The region falls in Seismic Zone V as per IS 1893. As per the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) code on Site Evaluation of Nuclear Facilities, Nuclear Power plants are not set up in Seismic Zone V.