India’s move to enter into a commercial contract with Canada for the supply of 3,000 tonnes of uranium over five years will help achieve continuous and sustained power generation and higher plant load factor of the nuclear power plants in the country.
Canada is the third country to supply uranium to India after Russia and Kazakhstan. The supplies will be under the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards. India also signed a civil nuclear deal with Australia in September last year to sell uranium.
Currently, 21 nuclear power plants operated by Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) have a generation capacity of 5,780 Mw. Of these reactors, the supply of imported uranium is currently made to 11 reactors with generation capacity of 2,620 Mw, which are under the IAEA safeguards.
The list of these reactors include Tarapur units 1 & 2 (420 Mw), Narora units 1 & 2 (440 Mw), Kakrapar units 1 & 2 (440 Mw) and Rajasthan units 2 to 6 (1,080 Mw). The unit 1 of the Rajasthan plant has completed its life and is not under operation. Kudankulam’s 1,000-Mw reactor has been assured lifetime supply of enriched uranium from Russia.
NPCIL and Russian supplier AtomStroyExport have signed a deal for the initial supply of two VVER 1,000 reactors for the Kudankulam project.
All these reactors running on imported uranium have a plant load factor of 85 per cent.
NPCIL Executive Director N Nagaich told Business Standard, “Availability of uranium will help sustained operation of reactors under IAEA safeguards.” He further said diverse sources of uranium supply are always welcome.