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Uranium Processing Plant may begin by March’11

The uranium processing facility in Tummalapalle in Kadapa district has attracted no opposition and it is now in the final stages of completion.

The processing of uranium ore from the Tummalapalle plant may begin by March 2011, making it a first in south India. Tumullapalle is located in Pulivendula assembly constituency, represented by former chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy till his death in September 2009.

According to sources, the location of the uranium plant in an area inside YSR constituency ensured that there is no opposition to it, either from the local people or environmental activists. “Enough steps were taken to ensure that the project comes up without any hitch,” one official said.

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The steps included providing employment to about 300 people belonging to the families who lost their land for the project. The sources said some more jobs were being created to accommodate the members from poor families whose DKT patta land had been acquired for the project. The uranium corporation also undertook welfare measures in the villages in the 15-km radius of the plant which included construction of schools, providing drinking water facilities, as well as medical aid.

The Tummulapalle uranium processing facility, which is in the final stages of completion, has got clearance from the Centre for the enhanced processing of the ore from the original 3,000 tonnes per day to 4,500 tonnes, although the plant has a capacity to process 6,000 tonnes a day. “Every effort is being made to start the processing of uranium by March 2011,” the sources said adding that all the units such as processing mill, chemical house are in the final stages of completion.

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According to the sources, the mine is expected to yield three times more uranium than what was earlier thought of. “Initially, it was estimated to produce 15,000 tonnes of uranium. It is now revised upward to 40,000-45,000 tonnes,” they added.

(Source: Times of India)

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