The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement with Australia.
In 2014, India and Australia signed the civilian nuclear cooperation agreement during then Australian PM Tony Abbott’s visit to New Delhi.
Abbott’s successor, Malcolm Turnbull had told PM Narendra Modi on November 15 that procedure for the pact had been completed and can be implemented. This opens doors for the much-needed uranium supply for India’s nuclear reactors.
Right now, Australia is considered to have the largest reserve of recoverable uranium. World Nuclear Association and Australian government say that Australia ranks third in terms of production of uranium. Kazakhstan and Canada produce more than Australia. If it opens new mines, which it plans to, its production may increase, and it might become the top producer in a few years. Australia produces uranium basically to export as it does not operate nuclear power plants. So, Australia may become the most important uranium supplier to India. The uranium supply is critical to India’s plans for the nuclear energy expansion. The current nuclear expansion plan needs uranium and India has concluded agreements with Canada and Kazakhstan among others.