India Bids for Stakes in Russia, Kazakh Uranium Mines

May 26. Bloomberg

By Yuriy Humber

Nuclear Power Corp. of India is bidding for stakes in uranium mines in Russia and Kazakhstan, and offered to build reactors in central Asia, Chief Executive Officer S.K. Jain said.

“We’re trying to achieve stakes in mines,” Jain said today in an interview at a Moscow nuclear forum organized by Rosatom Corp., the country’s nuclear holding company. The company is discussing buying into sites including the untapped Elkon deposit in Russia’s Far East, he added.

India, which suffers peak power shortages of as much as 17 percent, needs uranium to fuel 28 planned reactors and meet a target of adding 40,000 megawatts of nuclear generation by 2020. The second most-populous nation will seek an annual 1,500 metric tons of uranium for 60 years to fuel new reactors, Jain said.

“We’re exploring the possibility of a long-term partnership and not only for uranium supplies,” he said. India proposed building 220- to 500-megawatt reactors in Kazakhstan, which doesn’t yet have any nuclear power plants, he added.

India is “close” to signing an accord with Kazakhstan and Canada, Jain said. The two countries’ trail only Australia in uranium reserves.

India, the second-fastest growing major economy, wants Australia to supply uranium, Sujatha Singh, High Commissioner for India, said in Australia’s capital, Canberra, today. Australia reiterated it won’t sell the fuel to countries that haven’t signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.