NEW DELHI, July 19 A huge deposit of uranium
India has found in a southern state could turn out to be among
the biggest reserves of the mineral in the world, reports said
on Tuesday citing the head of the country's atomic energy
The Tumalappalli mine in Andhra Pradesh state has confirmed
49,000 tonnes of ore and there are indications that it could
hold reserves totalling three times its current size, The Times
of India quoted Srikumar Banerjee as saying.
"If that be the case, it will become the largest uranium
mine in the world," Banerjee, secretary at the Department of
Atomic Energy, said, adding production will start in six months.
The mine's proven reserve is enough to support a 8,000 mega
watts nuclear power plant for 40 years, the report added.
India plans to expand its nuclear power generation capacity
from 4.7 giga watts (GW) now to 7.3 GW by the end of March 2012
and 20 GW by 2020.
To make this possible, the country has signed a landmark
nuclear power deal with the United States and opened up its
estimated $150 billion nuclear power market to private reactor
builders such as GE and Areva CEPFi.PA.
India, which has a total installed power generation capacity
of 164 gigawatts (GW), aims to raise it to 187 GW by the end of
March 2012. Even this target is modest, given a 12 percent
peak-hour power shortfall that crimps the country's near 9
percent economic growth.
(Compiled by Ratnajyoti Dutta; Editing by Krittivas Mukherjee)