Reliance Industries has urged the government to open up domestic uranium exploration and mining in line with NELP, to increase domestic output to reduce dependence on import of the metallic element.
"When India will have to depend on nuclear power in future and supply will continue to be vulnerable, there should a policy by which the private sector should be allowed to explore and mine uranium in India," Reliance Industries president (operations) Atul Chandra said. He believed that opening up the sector to the private sector with proper safeguards would help the country in uranium exploration.
Chandra said that he recognized the sensitivity of the sector and that there should be proper safeguards in selecting companies for the uranium business.
Currently, the state-owned Uranium Corporation of India has monopoly for exploration and mining of uranium.
Moreover, Indian companies should be encouraged to go overseas in a big way in acquiring uranium assets for energy security, he said.
Asked how the government could encourage Indian companies in acquiring uranium assets overseas, Chandra said at least the government could provide preference to Indian companies while importing uranium after the legal binding period, if any.