Deal with Kazakhstan for uranium signed
In a major fillip for India’s civilian nuclear power capability, New Delhi has signed an MoU with Kazakhstan which will facilitate uranium supply to India. The MoU, between the Nuclear Power Corporation of India and Kazakhstan’s state owned KazAtomProm, will also allow Kazakhstan to help build atomic power plants in India, sources said. Kazakhstan ambassador to India Dr Kairat Umarov said that KazAtom-Prom was ready to supply uranium to India and that Kazakhstan has the potential to take part in the construction of atomic power stations in India. The MoU was signed in the presence of Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who is the chief guest for the Republic Day celebrations, and President Pratibha Patil. Kazakhstan is the third largest producer of uranium in the world and is likely to overtake Australia and Canada by 2010 with its annual uranium production slated to reach 15,400 tonnes. “On September 4, the first day of the NSG meet, Kazakhstan’s permanent representative made a speech strongly supporting India’s case. This is despite the fact that Kazakhstan suffered 500 nuclear tests conducted on its territory by the USSR in the 20th century,” Umarov said.