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Russia to supply uranium to India

Bloomberg  |  New Delhi 

Russia will become the first since a club of lifted a three-decade ban on sales to the south Asian country.

A unit of Rosatom Corporation, Russia’s holding company for all nuclear assets, will sign a contract with monopoly on February 11 in Mumbai to deliver 2,000 metric tons of uranium pellets, both companies said.

India will pay $780 million for the fuel, Rosatom spokesman said by phone from Moscow today. “We’re very glad that a Russian company will be the first to supply India with low-enriched uranium after the Nuclear Suppliers Group cancelled its restrictions,” Novikov said.

The 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group, founded after India detonated a nuclear device in 1974, ended its boycott of the country in September. India has since signed nuclear accords with the US, France and Russia.

Nuclear Power Chairman Jain said after the ban was lifted that India’s next task would be to “ensure fuel supplies for our ongoing and planned projects.” India also held talks on uranium supplies with Canada, Kazakhstan, and African countries before selecting Russia, Jain said in October.

India, where homes and industry suffer peak power shortages of as much as 17 per cent, needs uranium to fuel the 28 reactors it plans to build to meet its target of adding 40,000 Mw of nuclear generation by 2020.

First Published: Sun, February 08 2009. 00:44 IST