Special Correspondent

CCEA approves mining of an additional 75,000 tonnes

NEW DELHI: The government has decided to increase indigenous uranium mining by an additional 75,000 tonnes.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Friday approved a Rs. 200-crore project "Prospecting and Exploration of Potential Areas for Augmentation of Uranium Resources' at a meeting here.

The project cost will be met with a 11th Plan outlay of Rs. 120 crore and 12th Plan outlay of Rs. 80 crore, Minister for Science and Technology Kapil Sibal told newspersons after the CCEA meeting.

SHILLONG: Deputy Chief Minister Hoping Stone Lyngdoh has stuck to his guns on the uranium issue, saying he was even opposed to the idea of setting up the All-Party Committee on Uranium Mining by the MPA Government.

Mr Lyngdoh on Monday said he still held the view that "no expert in the world is able to help protect people from radiation of uranium."

Rakteem Katakey / New Delhi July 25, 2008, 0:20 IST

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), the country's largest oil and gas producer, plans to enter uranium mining in alliance with public-sector Uranium Corporation of India, aiming to tap the business opportunity from nuclear fuel shortage in Asia's third largest economy.

ONGC is aligning with Uranium Corporation as the latter is the only entity allowed to undertake uranium mining in India, and has the power to allot mining leases to others like ONGC, said two analysts tracking the nuclear industry.

Shillong: The Langrin Youth Welfare Association (LYWA) has reiterated its opposition to the proposed mining of uranium by the UCIL in the State. In a letter to Chief Minister Dr Donkupar Roy here on Friday, LYWA president BS Lyngdoh stated that nearly 90 per cent of the people in the area in West Khasi Hills are totally against the proposed uranium mining project at Phodkylleng-Pyndensohiong in West Khasi Hills district.

SHILLONG: The All-Party Committee on Uranium Mining has recommended formation of three expert groups to study health hazards and radiation effects before making a final recommendation to the State Government on the sensitive issue.

The all-party panel, which met here for the first time on Friday, asked the government to constitute two groups of experts to study the health and environmental impacts of uranium mining in and around Mawthabah, West Khasi Hills.

SHILLONG, July 17: Consensus will determine the Governments decision on the proposed uranium mining in the State, asserted Meghalaya Chief Minister Dr Donkupar Roy. Ahead of Friday's all party meeting on uranium mining in Shillong, the Chief Minister told mediapersons "Any decision on the complex issue will be bases on consensus'.
Categorically stating that no decision will be imposed on the people of the State, Roy said, "The issue of health hazard will have to be discussed thoroughly before taking any decision'.

R. Ramachandran A temporary shortage has arisen because of a supply-demand mismatch. Why resort to imports through an undesirable deal?

In an U-turn, the Congress today decided to join the all-party committee on uranium mining in Meghalaya. Earlier, the party had decided not to join the committee formed by Chief Minister Donkupar Roy to arrive at a consensus on whether to allow Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) to go ahead with mining the heavy metal in the state. The decision to join the panel came after the AICC summoned the PCC president O L Nongtdu and Leader of the Opposition D D Lapang to discuss the matter.

The uranium industry's worst year is about to collide with a nuclear construction programme in India and China that rivals the ones undertaken during the oil crisis of the 1970s. The result is likely to be a 58 per cent rebound in uranium to $90 a pound from $57 now, according to Goldman Sachs JB Were Pty and Rio Tin-to Group, the third-biggest mining company. Uranium plunged 57 per cent in the past year as an earthquake damaged a Japanese nuclear plant that's the world's largest and faults shut down reactors in the UK and Germany.

Minister of State for Power Jairam Ramesh on Saturday said the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) would form a committee to study the techno-economic feasibility of setting up a nuclear power plant in the North-East. The DAE would also prepare a White Paper on proposed uranium mining in Meghalaya, he said. The white paper will be handed over by the DAE to Meghalaya Chief Minister Donkupar Roy on May 31. The Chief Minister will table it in the Assembly and after a threadbare discussion the white paper will be made public.