5. Examine the distribution of key nuclear elements in the world.
दुनिया में प्रमुख परमाणु तत्वों के वितरण का परीक्षण करें।
Nuclear minerals are identified so due to presence of radioactivity in minerals caused by the inclusion of naturally-occurring radioactive elements in the mineral’s composition. For the most part, minerals that contain potassium (K), uranium (U), and thorium (Th) are nuclear minerals.
Global distribution of nuclear minerals
- Mines in Canada, Australia and Kazakhstan cover over two-thirds of the uranium production across the world. As per 2016 data, Kazakhstan is the largest producer of uranium with 39% of world supply, followed by Canada (22%) and Australia (10%).
- A large reserve of uranium is estimated to be in sea water.
- Australia possesses around 30% of the world’s known recoverable uranium reserves. Kazakhstan contains about 13% of the world’s recoverable uranium.
- Canada was the world’s largest uranium producer for many years, but in 2009 was overtaken by Kazakhstan. Other important countries with large known uranium reserves include Russia, South Africa, Niger and Namibia.
- India has minimal production of uranium and dependent on import for its needs.
- Thorium is more abundant in nature than uranium.
- Monazite is the chief source of thorium in the world. Commercially viable deposits of Monazite can be found mainly in the beach sands in the coastal tracts of India, Brazil, Australia, Ceylon and Malaysia.
- India has possibly the highest thorium resources.
The current distribution pattern shapes the global geostrategic paradigm. Nuclear mineral play critical role in the energy security as increased strive for carbon free fuels compared to the traditional coal based energy production which is discouraged due to climate change obligations. Nuclear mineral supplier could control fuel and operations of nuclear power in any country and in a way energy security. Advanced reactors will be a source of geopolitical force in the near future.
India eventually succeeded to overcome its nuclear mineral supply short comings with the indigenously developed thorium based reactors. India has proved its credibility as responsible nuclear power. India bolstered its claim in the global nuclear order with number of civil nuclear agreements with various nuclear supplier nations despite of oppositions.