Nuclear Deal Current Affairs - 2019

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Canada sends first consignment of Uranium to India

Canada has successfully sent the first consignment of 250 tonnes of uranium to India as part of bilateral civil nuclear cooperation between both countries.

It was shipped by Canada’s Cameco Inc, as part of contract with Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) that was signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s offical visit to Canada in April 2015.

With this the 41-year-long hiatus in the bilateral nuclear cooperation between both countries finally came to an end. Canada had completely banned exports of uranium and nuclear hardware to India after it had conducted first nuclear test on 18 May 1974. It was alleged that India had used Canadian technology to develop a nuclear bomb for this test.

It should be noted that Canada is the second-largest producer of Uranium globally and is the third country to supply uranium to India after Russia and Kazakhstan.

Background

The India-Canada civil nuclear contract was signed in line with the Canada-India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement that took effect in 2013. The agreement was signed after the Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG) had granted its waiver for use of atomic power for civilian purposes in 2008 ending India’s 3 decade long isolation from international nuclear trade.

As per the supply agreement, Canada’s Cameco Corporation is going to supply 3,000 metric tonnes of uranium to India for next five years starting from year 2015. These supplies will be under the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards.

India, Australia seal N-deal procedures

India and Australia have sealed Nuclear-deal procedures for supply of uranium from later to energy starved India.

N-deal procedures were formally completed between both countries following a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his counterpart Malcolm Turnbull in Antalya, Turkey on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit.

Following the conclusion of the agreement, India has become the first country to buy Uranium from Australia without being a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Background

  • India and Australia had started talks on the Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement in 2012 after Australia had lifted the long-standing ban on selling uranium to energy-starved India.
  • The cooperation agreement was signed between two countries in September 2014 to sell uranium as a nuclear fuel for peaceful power generation.

It should be noted that Australia has about a 40 percent of world’s recoverable uranium resource and annually exports around 7,000 tonnes of it.

In India, nuclear energy contributes just 3% of its electricity generation and it has currently signed nuclear energy agreements with 11 countries. Presently, India imports uranium from France, Russia and Kazakhstan to supply fuel to its two dozen small reactors at six sites with a total capacity of 4,780 MW which accounts for 2% of its total power capacity.