Canada’s Cameco Inc., To Supply Uranium to India

Canada’s Cameco Inc., To Supply Uranium to India

In a $280 million deal, Cameco Inc., the world’s third-largest uranium producer, has signed a supply agreement with the Department of Atomic Energy of India to provide 7.1 million pounds of uranium concentrate to be supplied over the next five years, reports CNN Money. The uranium is to be sourced from Cameco’s northern Saskatchewan mines. Export of Canadian uranium to India for the generation of electricity is authorized by the Canada-India Nuclear Co-operation Agreement which came into force in September 2013.

BBC News says that this agreement was signed in Ottawa in the presence of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi when the latter visited Canada in April.  “Canada is providing uranium to India as a mark of its trust and confidence in India,” Modi told reporters.

The contract is Cameco Inc.’s first with India which is the world’s second fastest growing market for nuclear fuel. “This contract opens the door to a dynamic and expanding uranium market,” said Tim Gitzel, Cameco’s president and CEO. “Much of the long-term growth we see coming in our industry will happen in India and this emerging market is key to our strategy.”

India’s economy has seen rapid expansion resulting in a surge in demand for energy, and as a result, India is looking to increase its dependence on nuclear energy. By 2032, India expects to have 63,000 megawatts of nuclear capacity — an almost 14-fold increase on current levels.

World Nuclear News reports that beyond uranium supplies, Harper and Modi also agreed to encourage a collaborative program to “leverage their industries’ respective strengths” in pressurized heavy water reactor technology and the India Nuclear Insurance Pool set up earlier this year, and closer civil nuclear energy cooperation between Indian and Canadian companies.

Canadian and Indian atomic energy establishments and research institutions will establish mechanisms for long-term collaboration in nuclear energy R&D. The two countries’ nuclear regulators, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board of India and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, have finalized an arrangement for regulatory cooperation in the field of nuclear and radiation safety regulation.



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