Public sector Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) is in talks to acquire stakes in companies that own uranium mining assets abroad, its CMD S K Jain said. “Preparatory talks are underway through technology and equipment suppliers. As part of a commitment to offer an uninterrupted supply of the radioactive material, these technology providers will help us acquire stakes in foreign uranium mining companies,” he said.
“NPCIL intends to partner companies owning uranium assets abroad to achieve guaranteed supply of the radio active material. Stakes in offshore uranium mining companies will also help insulate nuclear plants from fluctuating world market prices,” he added.
“Whoever wishes to supply nuclear power equipment and technology to us will also have to guarantee supply of long-term supply of uranium,” he added. NPCIL is reportedly in talks with technology providers like French nuclear power major Areva, Atlanta-based General Electric (GE) and Russian nuclear plant manufacturer Atomstroyexport. “All these companies have entered into talks with NPCIL. To this effect, they have also made presentations on the broad contours of the projects they may be interested in,” said an NPCIL official.
Areva is the leading producer of uranium, with an output of 7,000 tonnes per year, or 20% of the worldwide production. Areva has a nuclear power plant in China and is also into design and construction of nuclear power plants and research
reactors, instrumentation and control, modernisation and maintenance services, components manufacture and the supply of nuclear fuel.
Atomstroyexport, on the other hand, has erected a number of plants in as many as 15 countries, including India. The latest projects include construction of two power units (2000 MW total) in China and one power unit of 1000 MW in Iran.
The GE group’s nuclear power division is into nuclear fuel manufacturing, reactor servicing, performance service and new nuclear projects.