Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mongolia to Sell Uranium to India?

According to yesterday's article in The Hindu Business Line (via mongolia-web.com), India is looking at joint mining and exploration opportunities for uranium with Mongolia among a few other countries. Excerpts:
“We are working out (uranium) supply arrangements with countries like Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan... We are also planning to carry out joint mining and exploration initiatives with Mongolia,” Mr Saran said at an interaction organised by FICCI on Civil Nuclear issue on Tuesday.
Mr Saran also said that the current global financial turmoil could lead to a slowdown in the global nuclear power market and, thereby, bringing down reactor and fuel prices.
“The current financial crisis can be a blessing in disguise… This creates a favourable condition for India to embark on a truly ambitious nuclear programme, getting the best terms and conditions, including technology transfer,” he said.
The thing is, India is one of 3 states that refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Pakistan and Israel being the other two. One of the reasons behind India refusing is that China is a nuclear power. The other, probably, is Pakistan's refusal to sign the treaty. Them three's got problems with each other. Australia's refused to sell uranium to India until and unless India signs the NNPTreaty, their argument being if they start selling to India, they may as well consider selling to Pakistan and Israel (ref here).

An interesting question arises, how does China feel about Mongolia selling uranium to India with whom it has border conflicts? For that matter how does Russia feel about Mongolia selling uranium to India, seeing as the Russians were the first to start the "your uranium for a power plant" discussion. I guess, the main question is, what do WE have to gain from selling uranium to India. Technology transfer? India definitely has the technology and experience with nuclear power generation.

Read the article here