The country’s new nuclear build will include more than a dozen reactors

This is an edited version of my coverage in Fuel Cycle Week V9:N399 10/28/10 published by International Nuclear Associates, Washington, DC

Cameco_thumb[3]India's state-owned nuclear energy firms are reported to be in discussions with Cameco (TSE:CCO) to acquire and develop uranium mines in Africa. Chaitanyamoy Ganguly, President of Cameco India, told financial wire services Oct 24 that Cameco is interested in supplying uranium to India "from non_Canadian countries." India has no substantial uranium deposits of its own.

Prithviraj Chavan, Indian government Minister for Science & Technology told the wire services India is exploring the acquisition of uranium mines in Africa.

Ganguly said Cameco will explore joint venture options with the Uranium Corp. of India and supply uranium to the Nuclear Power Corp of India.

Cameco spokesman Robert Gereghty told FCW the deal with India is currently under discussion, but supply is likely to begin with small volumes within the next few years.

"Supply will come from our existing primary supply sources, which include our production from Canada, the United States and Kazakhstan."

We intend to pursue long-term uranium sales agreements, but [the company] will not speculate on the level of market penetration."

Earlier this year Cameco made substantial purchases of uranium at low spot prices. George Assie, Cameco's VP for Maketing, told financial wire services in London in September the firm saw an opportunity to buy material on the market that "was attractively priced."

In September the spot price for uranium was $40/lb. It has since risen to $60/lb. Assie said at the time, "We have a fair degree of confidence we can place it in contracts at a higher price." It looks like he was right on the money.

The demand for uranium for India is coming soon. It has made significant commitments to building new reactors. It expects to have 20 GWe nuclear capacity on line by 2020 and 63 GWe by 2032. It is reported to have a goal of supplying 25% of electricity from nuclear power by 2050.

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