Name the minerals used in generat­ing nuclear energy and the places where they are found in India

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Uranium and Thorium are the main atomic minerals which are mostly used in generating nuclear energy. Apart from these two, beryllium lithium and zirconium are other atomic minerals.

Uranium:

Uranium deposits occur in Singhbhum and Hazaribagh districts of Jharkhand, Gaya district of Bihar and in the sedimentary rocks in Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh. Recent exploration has located reserves of uranium in Meghalaya and Andhra Pradesh. There are very modest uranium resources in the country which has been estimated 54,000 tones.

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Although monazite sands which occur in east and west coasts of India have also reserves of uranium. However, the largest concentration of monazite sand is found on the Kerala coast and over 15,0000 tones of uranium is estimated to be contained in monazite. Some uranium is also found in the Copper mines of Udaipur in Rajasthan. India produces only 2% of world’s uranium.

Thorium:

It is also derived from monazite which contains 10% thorium 0.3% uranium. The other mineral carrying thorium is thornier. The known reserves of thorium in India are estimated to be between 4.5 lakh tones to 5 lakh tones. Kerala, Jharkhand, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, and Rajasthan are the main producers.

Beryllium:

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Beryllium oxide is used as a moderator in nuclear reactors for atomic power generation. India has sufficient reserves of beryllium to meet her requirement of atomic power generation.

Lithium:

Lithium is a light metal which is found in the mica belts of Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan as well as in Bastar region of Chattisgarh.

Zircomium:

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It is found along the Kerala coast and in alluvial rocks of Ranchi and Hazaribagh district of Jharkhand.

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