The Government has prepared an action plan to upgrade the exploration and research capacity of Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD), a constituent unit of Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), with a mandate to identify and evaluate mineral reserves including uranium required for the successful implementation of atomic energy programme of the country, for discovering new uranium deposits.
For enhancing the atomic mineral resources including uranium, the Government has formulated new projects involving Rs. 831.48 crores during XII Plan period (2012-2017).
The capacity increase includes enhancement of (i) drilling meterage by departmental rigs, (ii) heliborne and ground geophysical surveys, and;( iii) analytical support with the help of latest state-of-the-art instruments/equipments. This has helped AMD to augment the uranium reserve of the country by 60,164 tonnes U3O8 during the XII Plan (as on 29.02.2016).
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Department of Atomic Energy has got the requisite technology to produce uranium based nuclear power. Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited(NPCIL), a Public Sector Undertaking of Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), has been given the responsibility to set up Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors(PHWRs) using the domestically available uranium resources to augment electricity generation through nuclear power reactors.
Eight (8) reactors with a total installed capacity of 2400 MW viz., TAPS-3&4 at Tarapur, Maharashtra; MAPS-1&2 near Chennai; and KGS-1 to 4 at Kaiga, Karnataka are fuelled by indigenous fuel. They are presently operated close to their rated power, matching availability of fuel.
The production of electricity generation through PHWRs has been one of the successful ventures of DAE since 1970. This would continue to contribute to the ‘Make in India’ Programme of the country. The eight reactors indicated above using indigenous uranium reflects the production of Atomic Energy in the ‘Make in India’ Programme.
This information was provided by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha on April 27.