The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) is setting up 3 small uranium mines and 1 processing plant in Jharkhand near the sole uranium mine Jadugoda and is expected to become operational between 2006 and 2008. The Uranium Corporation of India Ltd. (UCIL) is desperately trying to source uranium as most of the indigenous nuclear reactors are running at 50-60% of their capacity due to fuel shortage imposed by the US-led embargo to punish India for not signing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Of course, the US is trying to change its position by allowing an exemption for India in its laws and international laws.
India has enough uranium reserves in Mizoram and Andhra Pradesh to feed the 16 existing and 4 new (700 MW) nuclear reactors with installed capacity of 10,000 megawatts (MW) but any effort to explore or mine has been opposed by non-governmental environmental organizations and citing tribal sentiments. The Federal Government and the DAE have failed to influence state governments to obtain permission to mine in these areas. While the Jharkhand ore is inferior to the one from the northeast, the UCIL is compromising on quality to overcome severe shortages and even reopened the Turamdih mine closed in 1992. While the Mizoram ore can produce 10 grams (gm) of uranium, the Jharkhand ore can only produce .05 gm.
DAE says that while Russia has supplied fuel for the 2 1000MW units at Kudankulam and the first 2 units in Tarapur, steady supply continues to be a major worry and that is a primary reason for focus on the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal