In downturn, India looks for uranium bargain | india | Hindustan Times
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In downturn, India looks for uranium bargain

india Updated: Nov 21, 2008 01:17 IST
Amit Baruah

In every crisis, there’s opportunity. As India hopes to stitch up its first purchase of uranium from Kazakhstan in January, prices have fallen from a high of $138 (Rs 6,900) in 2007 to about $48 (Rs 2,400) per pound now. It’s time to buy.

India, which ended its nuclear pariah status in September, can now stock up on cheap uranium — at a time its nuclear plants are running at about half capacity due to fuel shortages.

With an eye on purchasing uranium from Kazakhstan, which has the world’s second largest reserves and is the third largest producer of nuclear fuel, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev will be the chief guest at the 2009 Republic Day celebrations.

A senior South Block official said Kazakhstan wasn’t the only country India was looking to — Niger was another.

He revealed that even Australia, which had said it wouldn’t sell uranium to India, is revisiting the issue. An Australian diplomat, however, said that was not true.

In October, Shyam Saran, PM Manmohan Singh’s special envoy, had said the financial crisis was a blessing in disguise for India’s nuclear programme. “This opportunity should not be frittered away,” he had said.