Indian government is expected to establish, own and manage a Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership. The center will be open to international participation through academic exchanges, training and research and development efforts. The reason for the establishment of the center is strengthen India’s cooperation with the international community in the areas of advanced nuclear energy systems, nuclear security, radiological safety and radiation technology applications in areas such as health, food and industry. The initiative was announced by Prime Minister at the Nuclear Security Summit held in Washington on 13th April 2010. India is expected to set up the center in a phased manner.
India has been working on the development of technologies for Utilization of Thorium for Nuclear Power Generation since the inception of the Indian Nuclear Programme. India has irradiated thorium Research Reactors and in Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors. India has also developed technology to irradiate thorium fuel for the separation of Uranium-233. it has been demonstrated on a pilot plant scale. The separated Uranium-233 has been used as fuel in research reactor Purnima-II and later in the 30 kw Research Reactor Kamini now in operation at Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR). Thorium based fuel has been manufactured and loaded in the Advanced Heavy Water Reactor (AHWR) critical facility for Reactor Physics experiments. Development of technologies for large scale commercial level manufacture and reprocessing of Uranium 233 bearing fuels is underway.
The Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD), a unit of Department of Atomic Energy has established 10.70 million tonnes of Monazite resources in the Beach sand placers along the eastern and western coast of the India, as well as, the inland placers in parts of Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Orissa and Jharkhand. Monazite resources contain about 9-10% of Thorium Oxide. About 8.5 lakh tonnes of thorium metal can be recovered from the said Monazite resources which will be used for future programmes of DAE.