Canada to sell uranium to India

Power cables in India Image copyright AP
Image caption India's rapid economic expansion has resulted in a surge in demand for energy

Canada has announced that it will supply uranium to India, boosting India's plan to increase its nuclear capacity to meet growing energy demand.

The agreement was signed in Ottawa during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Canada.

The $280m (£188m) deal is for the supply of uranium concentrate over the next five years.

Canada banned the trade of nuclear materials with India in 1976.

The uranium is to be sourced from the northern Saskatchewan mines of Cameco, the world's third-largest uranium producer, reports say.

"Canada is providing uranium to India as a mark of its trust and confidence in India," Mr Modi told reporters.

Mr Modi, who arrived in Canada on Tuesday, is the first Indian leader to visit the country in more than four decades.

Canada banned the sale of uranium and nuclear hardware to India after India used Canadian technology to make its nuclear bomb.

The two countries then finalised a nuclear co-operation agreement in 2012, paving the way for Canadian firms to export uranium to India.

But differences over the supervision of the use of uranium in India delayed ratification of the deal.

"[That agreement] really allowed us to turn the page on what had been in our judgement an unnecessarily frosty relationship for far too long," Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said.

India's economy has seen rapid expansion, resulting in a surge in demand for energy. As a result, India is looking to increase its dependence on nuclear energy.

It plans to generate 63,000 MW of nuclear power by 2032 - an almost 14-fold increase on current levels. It has 22 nuclear reactors and plans to build some 40 more in the next two decades.

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