New Delhi: With the requirement of uranium expected to grow, India is expanding its search for countries, mostly in Central Asia and Africa, from where it could procure the fuel for the nuclear plants whose number is going to increase in the coming years.
As part of this endeavour, a delegation of Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) travelled to Uzbekistan to explore the possibility of procuring uranium, sources told PTI here.
Sources said a contract for procurement of uranium could fructify in the near future.
India is looking at importing about 2,000 tonnes of uranium by 2014 from Uzbekistan, which has 1,85,800 tonnes of proven uranium deposits.
The visit by DAE team took place against the backdrop of talks between External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and his Uzbek counterpart Abdulaziz Kamilov last month in Tashkent on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meet.
During the talks, the issue of uranium import to India was discussed.
India already has a contract for uranium import from another Central Asian nation Kazakhstan and Mongolia.
Apart from these countries, Kyrgyzstan also has rich uranium deposits.
“It is not that we are focussing on Central Asia only, but the region happens to have proven reserves of uranium. We will try to procure uranium from wherever possible,” said a senior DAE official.
“We are also looking at Niger and Namibia to get our supply of uranium,” the official added. Both these countries have rich deposits of uranium. In 2009, India also signed a civil nuclear cooperation with Namibia.