Nuclear fuel worth Rs 210 cr imported by India in 3 yrs

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New Delhi, Feb 27 (UNI) Even as India's discussions with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as a prelude to clinching the civil nuclear deal with the United States remained inconclusive, only two of the 17 nuclear reactors of the country are dependent on imported fuel.

In a written Reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today, Minister of State in the Prime Minister Office Prithviraj Chavan said the country imported low enriched uranium fuel worth just Rs 210 crore in the last three years to run two nuclear reactors of 320 megawatt.

These two reactors used imported fuel worth Rs 85 crore in 2004-05, Rs 50 crore in 2005-06 and Rs 75 crore in 2006-07, he added.

The remaining 15 nuclear reactors (3800 MW) used indegenously produced natural uranium fuel worth Rs 1906 crore during these three years, the Minister said, adding fuel worth Rs 540 crore was used in 2004-05, Rs 692 crore in 2005-06 and Rs 674 crore in 2006-07.

Replying to another question, Mr Chavan said India has held four rounds discussions with IAEA on all issues related to safeguards agreement since November 2007.

Safequards agreement with the United Nations is essential before Indo-US nuclear deal is taken up by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). Once the deal clears these two steps it will go back to the U S Congress for final approval. July is reportedly the deadline with the U S legislature.

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