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India and Pakistan today exchanged a list of nuclear installations that the two countries have under a three-decade-old bilateral pact to maintain transparency and avoid attacking each other’s nuclear facilities. Officials from the two sides exchanged the list in New Delhi, the foreign ministry said in a statement.
The agreement on the “prohibition of attack against nuclear installations” was signed on December 31, 1988, and entered into force on January 27, 1991, the foreign ministry said in the statement.
According to the pact, India and Pakistan must exchange an updated list showing nuclear installations and facilities on January 1 every year. Today’s exchange was the 27th consecutive exchange of the nuclear file — the first exchange took place in on January 1, 1992.
In September 2017, India’s atomic chief Dr Sekhar Basu had told a TV channel that thanks to new explorations, India can now call itself a uranium-endowed country. “When I joined the atomic energy programme we were told India has just about 60,000 tonnes of mineable uranium. But today the quantity has grown by four to give times. Government is fully supporting us to make India uranium self-sufficient,” Dr Basu had said during a visit by a TV channel to Jaduguda uranium mine, the oldest site in the country.
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 6,780 megawatts (MW). Of these, the two nuclear plants at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu are run on uranium imported from Russia.
Russia will continue supplying uranium for the entire 60-year life of the atomic plants. Each 1,000 MW reactor of Kudankulam needs several tonnes of uranium to function round-the-clock.
“The plant is ready to supply fuel to Kudankulam on a long-term basis,” Alexey V Zhiganin, the chief of Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant, the uranium processing facility in Russia’s Siberia, told a TV channel last month. “We are happy about the results of our co-operations and we have very good technical results of our nuclear fuel exportation to the nuclear reactor,” he added.
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