What is uranium?
Uranium is a radioactive mineral. It is a basic mineral used for production of nuclear energy. In India Uranium is mostly found in the Western States of Gujarat and Rajasthan. It is numbered 92 in the 3rd group of periodic table. It is a hard white-silver coloured metal. It was first discovered in 1789 by Martin H. Klaproth, a German Chemist. India stands at about 13th position in the production of Uranium and produce about 290 tonnes of this very scarce but useful mineral.
India has added to its Uranium resources
India has added one more feather to its cap as far as its research in mineral resources is concerned. It is reported that a discovery of Uranium (U) has been made by the Atomic Minerals Directorate which is based at Hyderabad. These geological investigations have been carried out with collaboration of AMD centre at Shillong. Initially the reconnaissance radiometric survey did not yield any substantial results in the Karimnagar Granulite Terrain (KGT) area which has an extension of about 4000 square kilometers. It was the second survey which has yielded the results.
Discovery of Uranium in two Andhra Pradesh villages of Peddur and Kottur
This discovery has been made in two villages, viz. Peddur and Kottur which are located in the district of Karimnagar in Andhra Pradesh state. Mr. Anjan Som and Mr. M. Sai Baba of the Atomic Minerals Directorate, Hyderabad has said that Uranium and Thorium might have been formed in this area during the period from 3.8 – 2.5 billion years ago. The sediments of the mineral found have been analyzed. The analysis revealed that the sediments contained high value of Uranium. The presence of thorium, how ever, has been found to be negligible. In the village of Peddur the AMD team found a compound tri - uranium octoxide which is also called U308. Its value was found to be as high as 1.96%, where as in the village of Kottur and area around it the value was as low as 0.059%. In both these villages the quantities of thorium were found to be negligible.
The discovery of Uranium will lead to a boost in the nuclear energy production of India
India has a very ambitious programme of generating nuclear power of about 20 giga watts by the year 2020. The discovery of Uranium in the two Andhra Pradesh villages is going to give a further fillip to the production of nuclear energy. This discovery has also opened up new avenues in the on going exploration of uranium in the country.