URANIUM (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     27th December 2023        

Context: Iran has increased the rate at which it is producing near weapons grade uranium in recent weeks, reversing a previous slowdown that started in the middle of this year, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a report to member states.


  • About: It is a silvery-grey metal in the actinide series of the periodic table.
  • Come from: U-235 and U-238 occur naturally in nearly all rock, soil, and water. U-238 is the most abundant form in the environment. U-235 can be concentrated in a process called “enrichment,” making it suitable for use in nuclear reactors or weapons.
  • Form: Uranium is an extremely heavy metal.
  • Uranium in India

oUranium deposits in India are primarily found in crystalline rocks.

oJharkhand state holds 70% of the country's uranium reserves.

oMajor uranium deposits occur: Singhbhum and Hazaribagh districts of Jharkhand, Gaya district of Bihar, and Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh.

oTotal reserves of uranium in India: Amount to 30,480 tonnes.

oIndia currently produces about 2% of the world's uranium.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

  • Establishment: In 1957 in response to the deep fears and expectations generated by the discoveries and diverse uses of nuclear technology. The Agency was set up as the world’s “Atoms for Peace” organization within the United Nations family.
  • Headquartered: Vienna, Austria.
  • Members: 175 (as of 2 March 2022). India since its inception.
  • The objectives: Dual mission: To promote and control the Atom i.e., scientific and technical co-operation on the peaceful use of nuclear technology and nuclear power worldwide.
  • Independence: Though established independently of the United Nations through its own international treaty, the IAEA Statute, the IAEA reports to both the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council.
  • Nobel prize: In 2005, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to the IAEA and to its Director General, Mohamed ElBaradei, for their work for a safer and more peaceful world.