Paul Heithersay, deputy chief executive, South Australia’s department of state development, told Business Standard, “We are very encouraged by our meetings with the Indian government agencies responsible for uranium mining and nuclear power. We will work with the Australian federal government to conclude agreements with India. Once the country agreements are signed, South Australia will put its best foot forward to be a safe long-term supplier to India.”
Heithersay was a part of the 70-member delegation led by South Australian minister for investment & trade minister Martin Hamilton-Smith.
Heithersay, who is also the chief executive, Olympic Dam Task Force, said South Australia is rich in high-grade copper, uranium and zircon deposits. It has over 30 per cent of the world’s uranium supply and also over 50 billion tonnes of iron ore.
South Australia’s proposal to supply uranium is important considering the department of atomic energy’s projected requirement for nuclear fuel.
For its 5,780 Mw capacity during 2015-16 and 2019-20, India needs 5,940 tonne of natural uranium as UO2 for pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWRs), 60 tonne of low enriched uranium (LEU) as UO2 for Tarapur Atomic Power Station units 1&2 (TAPS 1&2) (Boiling Water Reactors) and about 250 tonnes of LEU as UO2 for Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project units 1&2 (KKNPP 1&2) (Light Water Reactors).
India and Australia in September last year had signed an MoU for cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy during the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s visit to India.