In an exclusive interview to NDTV, Dr Basu said that the development has helped improve uranium fuel supply to nuclear reactors in the country. "When I joined the atomic energy programme we were told India has just about 60,000 tons of mineable uranium. But today the quantity has grown by 4 to 5 times. Government is fully supporting us to make India uranium self-sufficient," Dr Basu said during a visit by NDTV to Jaduguda uranium mine, the oldest site in the country.
For a very long time these Indian-made nuclear reactors ran on very low efficiency. The reason being cited was that the uranium fuel was in short supply. In fact, the raison d'être of the Indo-US nuclear deal was to get access to imported uranium.
The locally mined uranium is supplied to generate electricity and also to power nuclear weapons capability.
India currently has 22 operating nuclear power plants which have an installed capacity of 6780 MW. Of these the two nuclear plants at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu are run on uranium imported from Russia.