Indian Uranium Market Open to Canada

Source:

"A recent agreement between India and the International Atomic Energy Agency. . . has opened up a huge market for Canadian uranium producers, which had been closed for over three decades."

A recent agreement between India and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) signed February 2 has opened up a huge market for Canadian uranium producers, which had been closed for over three decades. The agreement will allow nuclear power technology in India along with United Nations oversight of 14 of the nation's 22 civilian reactors by 2014.

Until recently, the Canadian government has been ardently opposed to Indian nuclear power. The opposition dates back to 1974 when India detonated a nuclear weapon, which at the time was believed to contain materials from a Canadian reactor. That information has since been proven false.

India's desire for nuclear power does not stem from a need to protect itself against foreign nations, but rather to defend against the looming prospects of energy shortages and fossil-fuel pollution. Oil and coal alternatives like solar and wind-power are still far behind, technologically speaking, to provide energy on such a large scale, leaving nuclear power as the only viable option.

"It's very clear that we won't obviously slow down our growth, because we (need) this energy somehow," said India's High Commissioner to Canada, R.L. Narayan. "So I think it's very essential that India have access to sustainable forms of energy with a small carbon imprint, and basically, given the state of the technology, nuclear is the only viable source." At present, nearly 3% of India's energy is derived from nuclear power. The government is hoping to increase that to 20%.

The Canadian government has agreed to participate in a US$200 billion project that will construct 30 to 40 new nuclear power plants in India. The agreement will also pave the way for the Canadian uranium mining industry to develop trade partnerships within India.

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