Canada to supply uranium to India for civil nuclear power plants

Prime
Minister Narendra Modi noted that nuclear energy will play a critical role in
helping the country meet both its energy security and climate change mitigation
goals. He stressed the need for developed countries to help India increase its
nuclear energy production capacity by making nuclear fuels readily available. 
Marking
the first stand-alone bilateral visit in 42 years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi
arrived in Canada on Wednesday.

The Canadian government unveiled a C$350
million ($280 million) deal to supply uranium fuel to India, formally ending a
lengthy dispute that began after New Delhi used Canadian technology to develop
a nuclear bomb. Canadian producer Cameco Corp (CCO.TO) will supply 7.1 million
pounds (3.22 million kilos) of uranium concentrate to India over the next five
years. The deal is Cameco’s first with India, which the firm called the second
fastest growing market for nuclear fuel. Shares in the uranium miner rose 5.8
percent in Toronto.

Credit: ANI news




“Canada
is providing uranium to India as a mark of its trust and confidence in
India,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi told a news conference during an
official visit. Canada banned exports of uranium and nuclear hardware to India
in the 1970s after New Delhi used Canadian technology to develop a nuclear
bomb. The two countries started to put the dispute behind them with a
cooperation deal in 2013 that let Canadian firms export controlled nuclear
materials and equipment subject to safeguards applied by the International
Atomic Energy Agency.

“(That
agreement) really allowed us to turn the page on what had been in our judgment
an unnecessarily frosty relationship for far too long,” Canadian Prime
Minister Stephen Harper told the news conference. Modi has made nuclear power a
key element of his clean energy strategy. India needs foreign nuclear
technology and fuel to ramp up capacity by a planned 14 times from 4,560
megawatts over the next two decades.

The
two prime ministers also said they wanted to boost bilateral trade, which
currently sits at a modest C$6.3 billion a year, and revive stalled talks on a
free trade agreement. “It (trade) is not where we want it to be but it is
growing,” said Harper. Around 1.2 million
Canadians – just under 4 percent of the population – have ties to India as
either immigrants or their descendants. They form an important voting block in
cities like Toronto and Vancouver. (Source: Reuters)

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