BARC proposes two new research reactors under 12th Plan - Express India Mumbai The countryâ€™s nuclear research programme could get a major fillip with the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre proposing to build two new research reactors under the 12th Five Year Plan. The reactors will be used for testing materials for new power plants, radioisotope production and manpower training, among others. â€œWe have proposed two new reactors under the 12th plan. They are expected to take Indiaâ€™s nuclear programme to greater heights. They will be high flux research reactors, which will use enriched uranium produced in India for testing important structural material under reactor operating conditions. With rapid expansion of our nuclear programme, more research reactors are needed for development of nuclear technology as they contribute to the creation of essential infrastructure for research and for building capabilities,â€ said BARC director R K Sinha. The first new reactor, High Flux Research Reactor (HFRR), is a compact 30 MW thermal reactor with very high neutron flux needed for material irradiation. â€œThe second is currently nicknamed Dhruva-2. It is proposed to generate 125 MW thermal power,â€ he added. The locations are yet to be finalised. Sinha said the reactors will help in production of radioisotopes that have application in agriculture, food processing, medicine, industrial uses and protection of environment through processing of municipal wastes. With the decommissioning of the 50-year-old CIRUS research reactor on December 31, 2010, as per commitments under the Indo-US nuclear deal, the two new reactors are expected to play a key role in building capabilities. â€œIn addition, the construction of Apsara, Indiaâ€™s first research reactor, to higher capabilities has begun. The manufacture of advanced uranium silicide nuclear fuel containing enriched uranium of Indian origin for Apsara has also been initiated this year. All three (advanced version of Apsara and the two proposed) will help take neutron-based research and radioisotope production capacity to required higher levels,â€ said Sinha. A large number of Indian Environmental Radiation Monitoring Network (IERMON) data systems have also been proposed to be set up across the country. Currently, such environmental radiation-monitoring networks are present at 106 locations in the country and BARC proposes to increase the number to 500 under the 12th Plan. It will enable monitoring of radiation levels anytime, anywhere in the country. Yet another proposal is the construction of a large reprocessing plant at Tarapur. Currently, the reprocessing plants are located in Trombay (one), Tarapur (two), Kalpakkam (one) and one more is under construction at Kalpakkam and will be ready in the next one-and-a-half years. â€œIt will help augment our capacity of reprocessing,â€ Sinha added.