KADAPA: Tummalapalle in Vemula mandal of Kadapa district has the largest deposits of uranium in the world, Atomic Energy commission chairman Dr Srikumar Banerjee asserted. Interacting with mediapersons, after inaugurating the uranium plant at Tummalapalle on Friday, he said that at first the uranium deposits were estimated to be 15,000 metric tonnes, but later on, it was reestimated at 60,000 mt tonnes.
Now further tests and analyses indicate that there are chances of the region having three times the number announced.
Banerjee said that after Jaduguda in Jharkhand, the second uranium plant in the country has been commissioned at Tummalapalle. "This plant has been constructed using the most advanced and sophisticated technology. Alkaline leaching system has been adopted for uranium production at the plant," he said.
The AEC chairman stated that 3,000 tonnes of raw material is being mined and processed per day and quantity and quality will be increased in a phased manner. He said that of the total power generated in the country, only three percent is being generated through atomic energy. Once the Tummalapalle plant starts production, 5,000 mega watts is expected to be produced through atomic energy and in 20 years, 60,000 mega watts will be produced.
He explained that every measure has been taken to ensure that ground water in the region is not contaminated and in that direction, UCIL (Uranium Corporation of India Ltd) is following regulations. "As per regulations of UCIL, those who lost land for the project have been provided jobs as per eligibility," he said and assured the public that UCIL will see to it that locals are provided employment to the maximum extent possible.
Banerjee clarified that the quality of the uranium that is available at Jaduguda and that at Tummalapalle are the same. He said that they are making efforts to overcome obstacles in setting up the second phase of the project, with help of local people and public representatives.
Earlier, he inspected the plant and interacted with officials there. He asked them at what depth mining was being done and officials informed him that mining was being done at a depth of 270 mts during the first phase and will be done at 500 metres depth in the second phase. UCIL CMD D Acharya, former CMD Ramendar Gupta, ED N M Behal and others were present.