Uranium is a chemical element with atomic number 92 and represented by U. It looks like silvery grey metallic in appearance. It is the main element contributing to natural terrestrial radioactivity process. They are mainly used in the military sector because it gets hardened in high-intensity speeds and enables the destruction of heavily armoured targets. The civilian application includes use in fuel nuclear power plants. Nuclear power plants use uranium as fuel. The most visible use observed is in the thermal power source. Before the development of uranium mining techniques, uranium is widely used for yellow glass, pottery glazes, uranium glass, in Fiesta ware etc. Besides pottery, uranium can also be used in colouring tiles like yellow, black, blue, red, mauve and other colours for bathroom and kitchen floors. They are also used in the making of photographic chemicals in which uranium nitrate serves the purpose of tonner. Other importance includes use in X-ray, practical laboratories, for radiometric dating and used as stains in the culture of negative staining viruses, isolated macromolecules, cell organelles etc. India produces around 2% of world’s total uranium production.
Below is the list of major Indian states that are been talked about containing uranium in the soil:
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Recently, some tribes had to face eviction from the Amrabad Tiger Reserve for the sake of conservation of tigers, but for the same region, Uranium exploration has been approved. The Department of Atomic Energy in their recent conclusion stated that the desired quality of mineral was not found in this area. Around 7,662 tonnes Uranium was estimated to be present with ore grade or quality of 0.044% in Nalgonda district i.e. Lambapur-Peddagattu project.
9. Tamil Nadu
In partnership with Uranium Corporation of India, the state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation has initiated mining for Uranium in the Cauvery area. Apart from Cauvery, Rasimalai is another area where Uranium deposits have been cited to be present. The Atomic Minerals Directorate of the Department of Atomic Energy has extended its exploration activity in the hill-tops of Rasimalai region to collect some bulk samples.
Mahadek basin in Meghalaya is known to have uranium reservoir. Domisiat mine in Mawsynram has an appreciable amount of uranium along with good quality. It is in a depth of 40metres with underlying granites. There are four approved or ongoing projects in West Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya. First of them is Kylleng-Pyndemsohiong-Mawthabah (KPM) mine with 8,056 tonnes U of 0.085% grade. Rests three are debated areas of deposits namely Wahkyn, Wahkut and Tyrnai with 4,563 tonnes, 3,256 tonnes and 509 tonnes of Uranium deposits respectively.
7. Uttar Pradesh
Though minimal but Uttar Pradesh have a significant amount of uranium deposit in Lalitpur district part of Jhansi division. It is also found in sedimentary rocks of Saharanpur district. Another site where Uranium is said to be present is Naktu region, where an estimated 785 metric tonnes of Uranium resources or U3O8 has been established.
6. Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh
Surgaja-Palamau area of Madhya Pradesh has some amount of uranium deposits. Bodal deposits in Rajnandagaon district of Chhattisgarh is one site in consideration. Its mineral evaluation & resource estimation was completed way before in 1985. But it has been said that Uranium deposit lying beneath may be of very low grade.
Bihar has a brief amount of monazite sand which is known to contain 15,200tones of uranium within it. Singhbhum and Jadugora in Bihar are known for possessing uranium mines. In Gaya, Hazaribagh and Munger districts of Bihar have mica-fields which are uranium-bearing. The Uranium Corporation of India Limited is still in a way to find out the full potential of the state.
Some uranium is also present in the copper mines of Udaipur region in Rajasthan. Aravallis in Rajasthan also has uranium deposits. Rohili uranium deposit is known for its advancement in the process of exploitation. The pre-project activities in this area will start in recent future. It is in a depth of 100 meters and has deep underground mine of uranium deposit. Khetri- Khandala region also have a significant deposit of uranium. Rohil-Ghtaeswar deposit in Sikar district has approx 6,786 t of low-grade Uranium.
Uranium mining in the proposed Bhima belt will be starting soon, where rich deposits have been found. Gogi mine in Yadgir district with 3,618 t of 0.1% grade Uranium, is the biggest mine in the state with this rich amount of high-grade Uranium. Uranium Corporation of India Ltd. is permitted to acquire 306.40 acres of land for the mining project in the state. Karnataka State government is in talks with UCIL to permit to resume the halted project only if UCIL assures that no health or environment hazards will be there.
Operating mines in Jharkhand are Jaduguda mine, Bhatin mine, Narwapahar mine and Turamdih mine. Other new mines are Banduhurang mine located in the western extension of Turamdih mine, Mohuldih mine located 3km west of Banduhurang mine and Bagjata mine which is around 30 km south-east of Jaduguda mine. Moreover, Jadguda mine is India’s pioneer mine to produce uranium for the first time as a commercial product. Bhatin mine have comparatively low uranium deposits. Narwapahar mine and Turamdih mine are situated at a distance of 12km and 24km west Jaduguda mine respectively.
1. Andhra Pradesh
Cuddapah basin in Andhra Pradesh includes many mines of uranium including Lambapur-Peddagattu, Chitrial, Tummalapalle, Rachakuntapalle and Kuppunuru. The new mines in this state include Lambapur- Peddagattu mine which is spread across five districts. Seripalli plant is set up for the purpose of treating the ore of Lambapur-Peddagattu mine. It is 54km away from Lambapur area. Tummalapalle reserve in Andhra Pradesh has carbonate rock formations and is 275 meters in depth. It is of uniform width and depth.
Discovery of uranium in India is still half as researchers are on the constant look-out for more and more sites. Also, India has been spending billions to buy this mineral from other countries, overseeing its own wealth of deposits. So we should use this discovery in a positive way making it a boon and not a curse of science.