Import of Uranium by India
Uranium is a chemical element which is found in nature as uranium-238, uranium-235 and a very small amount of uranium-234.
It decays very slowly by emitting an alpha particle but has an exceptionally long half-life (uranium-238 has a half-life of about 4.47 billion years while uranium-235 has a half-life of 704 million years). It makes uranium very useful in dating the age of the Earth.
Currently, uranium is used for its unique nuclear properties with uranium-235 been the only naturally occurring fissile isotope. It is used as fissile material in nuclear power plants and nuclear weapons. However it is found only in very small amounts found in nature, and hence, it needs to undergo enrichment before use.
Uranium in India
Uranium in India is found only in the Jaduguda Mine and Tummalapalle uranium mine. While the former is a uranium mine in Jaduguda village in the Purbi Singhbhum district of the Indian state of Jharkhand, the later is located in the Tumalapalli village located in Kadapa of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.
Uranium requirement in India
After the assessment of long term demand of uranium in the country by nuclear plants and the supply of uranium from indigenous sources (mainly the above two mines), the Indian Government may have to import of uranium from prospective foreign suppliers like Kazakhstan or Australia.
Uranium Corporation of India Ltd.
The Uranium Corporation of India Ltd. (UCIL) is a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) under the administrative control of Department of Atomic Energy. It has made a detailed plan in line with the Government’s vision to achieve self-sufficiency in uranium production.