Russia Offers India Uranium Resources

- Edited By Tom Lamar -

According to news reports, Russia has offered to partner with India in exploration and exploitation of uranium resources within its territory in a bid to ease shortage of fuel for India's nuclear power plants.

State corporation Rosatom spokesman Sergei Novikov said Moscow had invited New Delhi to participate in uranium mining projects, but with a condition that the controlling stake in the joint venture projects must remain with Rosatom, with the partners getting up to 49 percent share in the projects inside Russia.

The spokesman said talks in this regard were held by Rosatom CEO Sergei Kiriyenko in New Delhi with officials from the Uranium Corporation of India Ltd.(UCIL) during the 16th session of Indo-Russian Inter-Governmental Commission last week, according to Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

Rosatom spokesman said in Elkonsky project in Russia's

Located in Yakutia, Elkonsky is one of Russia’s largest uranium deposits. It is estimated to contain 344,000t of uranium or 5.3% of the world’s recoverable uranium reserves. The Indian stake would be less than 49 per cent as there were already some foreign stakeholders whom he declined to identify.

Kiriyenko also said the first unit of India's Kudankulam nuclear power plant, being built with Rosatom's help, would be operationalized soon. He further said that the two countries would cooperate in building nuclear fuel manufacturing facilities both in Russia and India.

During Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's India visit in March earlier this year, Kiriyenko had offered UCIL stake in Elkonsky project and setting up nuclear fuel JVs in Russia and India.

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