Canada to export uranium to India under new nuclear deal

Featured India - November 7th, 2012

Canada will soon export uranium to energy-starved India after an agreement that will end almost four decades of impasse over civil nuclear trade.

The nuclear cooperation paves the way for uranium and nuclear reactor exports to India – for the first time since it secretly exploded its first nuclear bomb, known as “Smiling Buddha”, in 1974 using material from a Canadian-built reactor, Reuters reports.

“Being able to resolve these issues and move forward is, we believe, a really important economic opportunity for an important Canadian industry, part of the energy industry, that should pay dividends in terms of jobs and growth for Canadians down the road,” Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said during a visit to New Delhi.

Canada reassured that it will be able to track all nuclear material to ensure it will not be used again for making nuclear bombs, despite a lack of clear safeguards in the agreement. The Canadian nuclear safety commission had worked to “achieve all of our objectives in terms of non-proliferation,” Mr. Harper said.

India is seeking to expand its nuclear capacity to 63,000 MW over the next 20 years by adding 30 reactors, Asahi Shimbun reports. There are currently just 20 small reactors, with a capacity of 4,780 MW, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited said.