India's first large uranium deal

19 December 2008

It has been confirmed that Areva is to provide 300 tonnes of uranium to India.

That Areva would supply uranium to India had been speculated in the media, including World Nuclear News, after comments were sourced from ministers. When the official announcement came yesterday, the figure of 300 tonnes was confirmed, but there were no details of the rate at which the material would be shipped or whether repeat annual orders were arranged.

The uranium is to go to Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) under a commitment to the Indian Department of Atomic Energy. It should go a long way to ending a shortage that has forced India's reactor fleet to operate below full capacity. The deal was signed during a ceremony in Mumbai.

Areva claimed its deal was the first for uranium India has signed since changes to trade rules were made to allow it to participate in global nuclear markets. However, one other deal already announced concerns the supply of uranium from Russia for the two boiling water reactors at Tarapur.
So far, three countries have completed the civil nuclear power cooperation agreements necessary before they can begin trade with India: France, Russia and the USA.