India's Thorium based nuclear power programme

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by LETHALFORCE, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. Patriot

    Patriot Senior Member Senior Member

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    India's innovative nuclear power reactor
    K.S. Parthasarathy
    [​IMG]
    ADVANTAGE: The new reactor produces much less plutonium and helps in thorium utilisation. Photo: K. Ramesh Babu

    As a result of its fuel mix and fuel breeding properties, the 300 MWe plant requires 42 per cent less mined uranium per unit of energy produced than a modern high burn up PWR", the reactor's designers said.

    People waiting for a nuclear renaissance expect that the new reactors on the drawing board should assure a very high level of safety and security; they must have the ability to perform with a lower level of technological infrastructure prevailing in several developing countries; they must have high fuel use efficiency and superior waste disposal options.

    “The development of the Advanced Heavy Water Reactor, AHWR300-LEU, is an effort to realize these futuristic objectives through innovative configuration of present day technologies,” Anil Kakodkar and Ratan Sinha, the designers of India's innovative nuclear reactor wrote in the May 2010 issue of Nuclear Engineering International.

    They called the reactor India's passive breeder.

    “As a result of its fuel mix and fuel breeding properties, the 300 MWe plant requires 42 per cent less mined uranium per unit of energy produced than a modern high burn up PWR”, they added.

    AHWR300-LEU with an estimated design life of 100 years is a vertical, pressure tube type, boiling light water-cooled, heavy water- moderated reactor with reduced environmental impact. It has many features which are likely to reduce both its capital and operating costs.

    The designers have eliminated primary coolant pumps and drive motors and related control and power supply equipment, thereby saving the electric power to run them. This helps to reduce cost and to enhance reliability.

    The use of heavy water at low pressure reduces the potential for leakages. The heat generated in the moderator will be recovered and used for heating the feed-water.

    Quick replacement
    The shop assembled-coolant channels have features which enable quick replacement of pressure tubes alone without affecting other components.

    The design objective of the reactor is to require no exclusion zone beyond the plant boundary. The reactor will use natural circulation to remove heat from its core under operating and shut down conditions. In case the primary and the secondary shut down systems are not available due to the failure of all active systems or malicious employee action, passive injection of a “poison” — a high neutron absorbing liquid, in to the moderator will shut down the reactor.

    When the reactor operates, its core will be very hot. Coolant removes the heat. If coolant is not available due to a Loss of Coolant Accident (LOCA), the emergency core cooling system (ECCS) will remove heat by passive means.

    If the primary coolant tube ruptures, a large flow of water from accumulators will cool the reactor initially. Later, the core will be cooled by the injection of cold water from a 7000 cubic metre Gravity Driven Water Pool (GDWP) located at the top of the reactor building. After that, the passive containment cooling system (PCCS) provides long term containment cooling. GDWP serves as passive water sink giving a grace period of three days.

    The reactor has a double containment with an elegant design which assists the formation of a passive water seal in the event of a loss of coolant accident. The seal isolates the reactor containment and the external environment, preventing the spread of radioactivity.

    Fission of Uranium-233
    The reactor fuel on an average contains 19.75 per cent of enriched uranium and the balance thorium oxide. A significant fraction of the reactor power, about 39 per cent, comes from the fission of Uranium-233 derived from in-situ conversion of thorium-232.

    The reactor physics design has inherent safety characteristics during all conditions likely to be encountered during startup, shutdown and LOCA.

    During an interview, Dr Sinha has stated that the scientists and engineers at BARC have designed a novel advanced heavy water reactor to burn thorium (IEEE Spectrum, 2008)

    “They say that because no reactor in the world today uses thorium on a large scale, they will be breaking new ground”, he added

    Currently BARC has the facility for large scale validation work.

    Partly as a result of this, the reactor can achieve commercial operation by 2020.Indian scientists have been exploring various fuel cycle options for improved versions of AHWR.

    AHWR300-LEU has all the safety features of AHWR. It also helps in thorium utilization.

    It produces much less plutonium and minor actinides compared to Pressurized Water Reactors(PWR) which is the mainstay internationally. In view of that, this reactor is more proliferation resistant.

    Since minor actinides (which have relatively long half life) are less than those in PWR, it is a better choice from considerations of waste management.

    AHWR300-LEU has better reactor physics characteristics.

    K.S.PARTHASARATHY

    Raja Ramanna Fellow, Department of Atomic Energy

    ([email protected])







    http://beta.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/article450927.ece
     
  2. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    nrj likes this.
  3. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    http://www.mineweb.co.za/mineweb/view/mineweb/en/page72103?oid=107883&sn=Detail&pid=102055

    India's growing appetite for uranium

    With India's nuclear market pegged to grow to $40 billion by 2020, the country's annual uranium requirement is expected to jump by 1,500-2,000 tonnes.
    Author: Shivom Seth
    Posted: Tuesday , 13 Jul 2010
    MUMBAI -
    India is keen to shore up its uranium stockpile. Even as several state-owned firms identify mineral assets and are in the midst of floating separate ventures in foreign countries to buy out uranium reserves to feed the country's voracious appetite for power and to maintain energy security, the Asian major's civil nuclear plants are set to benefit from imports from friendly countries.
    Russia, which holds about a tenth of the world's uranium reserves, is aiming to be a major supplier to the Indian nuclear power industry. The two countries have decided to work on the creation of a joint venture for geological exploration and production of uranium.
    Currently, India produces only about 450 metric tonnes of uranium. Given the recent announcements of construction of new nuclear power plants, which is second only to China, India is keen to source regular supplies at low prices. The country's annual uranium requirement is expected to jump by an additional 1,500-2,000 tonnes. Analysts havesaid that India's nuclear market is set to grow to around $40 billion by 2020. But firm prices could play spoil the party.
    A newswire agency report had indicated that worldwide demand for uranium was eroding stockpiles and would result in prices rising to $55 a pound next year. Adam Schatzker, a metals analyst at RBC in Toronto, and Max Layton, at Macquarie Bank Ltd in London, had also forecast that uranium prices were set to climb to $56.25 next year, and $60 in five years.
    Though nowhere close to the record $136 a pound registered in July 2007, India is keen to ensure that it has assured supplies of uranium to provide fuel for nuclear reactors, that will generate energy to drive its ensuing economic boom.
    The country has 14 nuclear power plants that are used for peaceful purposes. But these contribute only 4% a year to the country's electricity needs. Plans are afoot for a massive increase in atomic power generation aimed at reducing the country's reliance on polluting fossil fuels.
    Seeking to buy uranium, government officials in India recently had several meetings with their business counterparts in Canada and Australia. The previous Liberal government in Australia had received international standard safeguard agreements from India and thus had cleared the way for uranium sales. However, this year, major uranium exporter Australia, has refused to sell uranium to India unless it signs the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Despite the setback, several other countries are eager to breast the tape.
    Ban lifted
    In September 2008, a three-decade ban on nuclear supplies to India was lifted, following which the government signed civil nuclear agreements with several countries. In Africa, Gabon has said that it was not averse to supplying uranium to India and was willing to enter into a commercial transaction. The Indian government is said to be studying the possibility of reciprocating by enhancing its civil and military cooperation with Gabon. India has already signed agreements with USA, France, Russia and Kazakhstan to supply uranium. Of these, France has already completed its supply, whereas part supplies have been received from Russia, a top government official said. Now, the country is evaluating picking up stake in one of the world's largest uranium fields in Russia.
    Russia's state-owned mining firm, ARMZ Uranium Holding Company, has the licence to the Elkon field. A stake was offered to India in the course of bilateral negotiations during the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's visit to India earlier this year. The possibility of a minority equity stake in the Elkon field in Russia's Yakutia province, which is estimated to hold 344,000 tonnes of uranium or about 5.3% of the world's recoverable reserves, is being seen by analysts as a step by India towards securing long-term supplies.
    Confirming the trend, an official in India's foreign ministry said: ``India plans to grow its stockpiles of uranium in anticipation of a nuclear plant building boom. This is set to have a direct implication on uranium price targets and supply-demand fundamentals.''
    Not so long ago, Russia had entered into an agreement to supply 2,000 tonnes of nuclear fuel to India. The Russian state-owned firm TVEL Corporation was deputed to supply about 210 tonnes of uranium during 2010-11. Sources indicated that during the last fiscal, about 120 tonnes of natural uranium and 58 tonnes of enriched uranium were received from Russia.
    Last month, India also signed a civil nuclear pact with Canada, which would enable the South Asian nation to secure uranium at a set price. Cameco, one of the world's largest uranium miners, has said that Canada could soon be exporting 2,000 tonnes of uranium to India annually.
    ``India does not have a domestic uranium supply that is capable of supporting its expansion plans. Our agreement will give us the opportunity to serve this market,'' Cameco director Lyle Krahn has been quoted as saying. Cameco, which is based in Saskatoon, is also setting up an office in Hyderabad.
    Buy out
    Not that the country is only interested in imports. India is also looking at buying out uranium reserves. State-owned aluminium major, Nalco, has identified mineral assets in Chile, Namibia and Indonesia. ``We have zeroed in on three mining reserves and are considering floating special purpose vehicles in the countries concerned for the acquisition,'' Nalco director, B L Bagra, told reporters recently.
    In a bid to secure raw material to run its diversified portfolio, the aluminium producer has been scouting for uranuim, bauxite, coal and copper reserves outside India. Nalco has identified a bauxite mine in Chile, a copper mine in Namibia and a coal block in Indonesia. For uranium assets overseas, the company is to team up with the Nuclear Power Corporation of India, with whom it already has a joint venture to set up nuclear power plants.
    India is also expected to produce indigenous uranium to feed its existing and upcoming reactors in the near future. Earlier, an Indian firm had discovered high grade uranium 600 km from Bangalore, at Gogi village in Gulbarga district. It was touted as the highest value uranium deposit found outside Canada and Australia. Relentless exploration for 12-years by the Hyderabad-based Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research found large traces of the rare mineral.
    Several Indian firms too have invested in uranium fields. Back in 2008, Jindal Steel & Power (Mauritius) Ltd, bought the entire stake in a uranium asset in Mongolia, which was jointly owned by Canadian firms Bluerock Resources and Uranerz Energy Corp, for $2.6 million. Mongolia has about 2% of the world's uranium reserves.
    Another small Mumbai-based firm, Taurian Resources, bagged exclusive rights for the exploration and mining of uranium in the Arlit region of Niger, which is the fifth largest supplier of uranium globally. The initial foray into Niger's uranium mining industry has had other Indian firms lining up.
    India expects to have 12 new reactors running by 2020, consuming an extra 1,500 tonnes of uranium per year. With India reportedly leading the biggest atomic expansion since the decade after the 1970's oil crisis, the country's high-powered efforts could well pay off, ensuring guaranteed uranium supply.
     
  4. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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  5. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    India to establish Global Center for Nuclear Energy Partnership, works on Thorium fuel


    Indian government is expected to establish, own and manage a Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership. The center will be open to international participation through academic exchanges, training and research and development efforts. The reason for the establishment of the center is strengthen India’s cooperation with the international community in the areas of advanced nuclear energy systems, nuclear security, radiological safety and radiation technology applications in areas such as health, food and industry. The initiative was announced by Prime Minister at the Nuclear Security Summit held in Washington on 13th April 2010. India is expected to set up the center in a phased manner.

    India has been working on the development of technologies for Utilization of Thorium for Nuclear Power Generation since the inception of the Indian Nuclear Programme. India has irradiated thorium Research Reactors and in Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors. India has also developed technology to irradiate thorium fuel for the separation of Uranium-233. it has been demonstrated on a pilot plant scale. The separated Uranium-233 has been used as fuel in research reactor Purnima-II and later in the 30 kw Research Reactor Kamini now in operation at Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR). Thorium based fuel has been manufactured and loaded in the Advanced Heavy Water Reactor (AHWR) critical facility for Reactor Physics experiments. Development of technologies for large scale commercial level manufacture and reprocessing of Uranium 233 bearing fuels is underway.

    The Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD), a unit of Department of Atomic Energy has established 10.70 million tonnes of Monazite resources in the Beach sand placers along the eastern and western coast of the India, as well as, the inland placers in parts of Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Orissa and Jharkhand. Monazite resources contain about 9-10% of Thorium Oxide. About 8.5 lakh tonnes of thorium metal can be recovered from the said Monazite resources which will be used for future programmes of DAE.
     
  6. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    India's experimental Thorium Fuel Cycle Nuclear Reactor [NDTV Report]

    Owing to the abundant availability of Thorium within the country, India has steadfastly pursued with its R&D programme to make use of its Thorium supply to generate electricity. As a result, two types of Reactors using Thorium -- the Fast-Breeder Reactor & the Thorium Cycle based Nuclear Reactors are being developed in India & India is considered one the leading countries in the field of Nuclear energy involving Thorium.
    The NDTV report covered the experimental Thorium Fuel Cycle Nuclear currently in operation at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre [BARC] in Mumbai. The deployment of Nuclear Reactors running the Thorium Fuel Cycle is part of the third stage of India's 3-Stage Nuclear programme.

    Nuclear power in India
    Nuclear - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia...

    Thorium
    Thorium - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Thorium fuel cycle
    Thorium - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia...

    Shaping the Third Stage of Indian Nuclear Power Programme

    It appears your Web browser is not configured to display PDF files. No worries, just click here to download the PDF file.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  7. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Inside India's Fast Breeder Nuclear Reactor Programme [NDTV Report] 01 of 02

    oday it is expected that the innermost vessel of India's indigenously developed Fast Breeder Nuclear Reactor would be lowered into place.

    NDTV had done this interesting report about India's Fast Breeder Nuclear Reactor programme some time back

    Fast Breeder Reactors
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fast_bre...

    India's Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor
    Memento Materia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia...

    Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Limited
    :==: Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Limited :==:

    Video courtesy

    New Delhi Television
    NDTV.com: India, Business, Bollywood, Cricket, Video and Breaking News



     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  8. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Dr Sethna: Firebrand who realised India's N-dreams


    A N Prasad pays tribute to Dr Homi Sethna, one of the pioneers of India's [ Images ] nuclear programme, who passed into the ages recently.

    In the passing away of Dr Homi N Sethna, former, chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, India has lost a dynamic leader, a brilliant chemical engineer and a true patriot who believed that India can do it!

    While Dr Homi Bhabha [ Images ], the founding father of the Indian nuclear programme, was a great visionary, Sethna was the chief architect. As a close confidante of Bhabha, he dedicated himself to translating his vision into a reality. Having started my professional career as a member of the team lead by Dr Sethna on a top priority project, I had ample opportunities to interact with him closely. I consider it a privilege to pay my tribute to that great leader and a fine human being.

    One of Bhabha's visions was India acquiring long-term energy security through major contribution of electricity by nuclear sector. For realising this, he postulated an ingenious three-stage nuclear power programme aiming at utilisation of vast thorium resources in the country using limited uranium reserves as starter. The three core technologies needed for success of this strategy are production of nuclear grade uranium, thorium extraction and spent fuel reprocessing to separate plutonium. It is to Dr Sethna's credit that he conceived and started all these programmes from scratch which are now fully developed production scale activities. The Indian nuclear programme should be deeply indebted to Sethna's pioneering contributions to the indigenous development of all the vital nuclear fuel cycle technologies to the envy of even the advanced countries.

    It is a strange coincidence that Dr Sethna's first task as soon as he joined the nuclear establishment on his return to India was setting up of Indian Rare Earths Plant in Kerala [ Images ] to extract various important minerals from the beach sands in addition to thorium which is to become ultimately the backbone of the indigenous power programme in the long term. He then went on to set up a plant at Trombay for production of nuclear grade thorium for use in fuels.

    Development of technology for production of pure nuclear grade uranium from uranium ore concentrates for fuelling reactors is another pioneering contribution by Dr Sethna to the country's nuclear programme.

    Perhaps the most significant achievement of Sethna was in taking a bold step to launch the spent fuel reprocessing programme in India way back in 1959, at a time when only four nuclear weapon states -- USA, Russia [ Images ], UK and France [ Images ] -- had this technology. Thus India became the fifth followed by China, Germany [ Images ], Japan [ Images ] and a few others much to the envy of many developed countries. The fact that reprocessing technology, considered complex and highly sensitive was introduced into the country's nuclear programme pretty early, speaks volumes of the great vision of Bhabha and sheer grit and determination of Sethna. They were pretty firm in their conviction that without reprocessing there is no hope of India gaining long-term energy security through the thorium route.

    Undaunted by the fact that he is making a foray into the unchartered territory of complex reprocessing technology with no particular experience in this field, no specific published design information or any possibility for interaction with any other country familiar in reprocessing, Dr Sethna showed tremendous courage in taking up the challenge that too at a time when the country's nuclear programme was in its nascent stage.

    A small core team of young bright engineers, mostly freshers who started their professional careers with this project directly under the leadership of Dr Sethna took up the task of development of technology and design of the first ever reprocessing plant at Trombay. I was fortunate to have been chosen as a member of this core team and had an opportunity to experience at close quarters and learn many a lesson on project execution.

    Because this project was declared as of high priority it could be executed in a record time of less than five years -- 1959 to 1964. It was formally inaugurated by Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri [ Images ] in 1965 and Dr Sethna made sure to invite many leading nuclear chiefs from various countries including some Nobel laureates. He wanted to showcase this achievement globally -- a creditable achievement indeed.

    Dr Sethna always believed in leading from the front, extremely sharp and a dynamic leader. He had an amazing eye for details and endowed with a sixth sense to pin point anything missing to the discomfiture of his team members. Nothing could escape his attention. He was very quick in taking bold decision and I have never seen him getting bogged down on any account.

    In dealing with his staff he never used to mince words, quite outspoken and considered a fire brand. I have seen people literally afraid of approaching him. But in spite of all the tough posturing he used to exhibit outwardly, he was soft at heart, quit receptive to constructive ideas and open minded. He used to have a typically mischievous smile through his eye glasses.

    I recall an incident during the time I met him a couple of years ago while going to the prime minister's residence to discuss the Indo-US nuclear deal.

    Seeing him with a walking stick, I jokingly remarked, Dr Sethna you were once such a fire brand. What a change! You are so mellowed down. For this, pat came the reply. What do you mean? I am still a fire brand! That was his spirit even when well past 80!

    Having started my professional career under him and under his grooming, I have learnt a lot which has been immensely useful while handling responsibilities as a leader in my later years. His fond memories will always remain with me as long as I live. Every time I used to make a mistake he used to say I will kill you. I have been killed many times in words.

    But he has allowed me just as many of my colleagues to be alive to remember him for all that he has done for technological advancement of the country's indigenous nuclear programme which has made the country proud and be recognised as a force to reckon with. It is some what sad that towards the end of his life he appeared disturbed at the terms of the nuclear deal as finalised which seem to compromise the values he attached to the long term energy independence and security of the country.

    A N Prasad is former director, Bhabha Atomic Research Center and former member, Atomic Energy Commission.
     
  9. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Kalpakkam Fast Breeder Nuclear Reactor to Achieve Fourth Milestone




    Dated 13/9/2010
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    The Rs.5,600 crore ($1.25 billion) prototype fast breeder reactor (PFBR) under construction at Kalpakkam, around 80 km from here, is expected to get its fourth critical component, the inner vessel, this week.

    The sodium cooled fast reactor designed by the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) has three vessels - a safety vessel, a main vessel and an inner vessel.

    The 11-metre tall inner vessel, the smallest of the three, would support reactor components like pumps, heat exchangers and others.

    'We hope to lower the inner vessel Wednesday. However it depends on the rain gods as the weather department has predicted rains over the next 48 hours,' Prabhat Kumar, project director, Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Ltd (Bhavini), told reporters.

    The fast breeder reactor, which breeds more material for a nuclear fission reaction than it consumes, is one of the key projects of India's three-stage nuclear power programme. India became the sixth country to have such a technology, way back in 1985.

    The PFBR is expected to start operations next September.

    The project achieved its third milestone in May this year when another critical component, thermal baffle, a cylindrical safety vessel weighing 60 tonne, measuring 12 metre in diameter and more than six metres in height, was lowered into the main vessel.

    The thermal baffle is crucial equipment which helps in keeping the sodium used in the plant cool.
     
  10. pavanvenkatesh

    pavanvenkatesh Regular Member

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    Great news my congradulations wishes for all the scientist involved what about the thoriam based reactors ? any news on that
     
  11. Patriot

    Patriot Senior Member Senior Member

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    500MW Fast Breeder Reactor Prototype to be Ready by First Quarter of 2012

    2010-10-11 The import a series of light water reactors (LWR) notwithstanding, India is committed to a three-stage nuclear programme and fast breeder reactors are important for its energy security, Minister of State for Science and Technology Prithiviraj Chavan said Sunday. Speaking at the silver jubilee celebrations of Fast Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR) organized by Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) here, he said: 'As we look forward to expand our nuclear energy programme with imported fuel and large imported reactors, let me assure you that there will be no compromise with or commitment to our three-stage nuclear programme, to our own research and to our own technology.'

    [​IMG]

    A fast breeder reactor breeds more material for a nuclear fission reaction than it consumes and is key to India's three-stage nuclear power programme. Chavan said India has always taken the stand that 'irradiated fuel should not be disposed as radioactive waste and that closing the fuel cycle through fuel reprocessing is absolutely essential for ensuring the sustainability of nuclear energy.'

    India is depending upon utilization of its thorium reserves, he said. 'The successful demonstration of a challenging technology of thorium utilization shall enable us in winning the confidence of the public and also policy makers in the large scale deployment of nuclear energy in the years to come,'' Chavan said. IGCAR director Baldev Raj, recalling the trials and tribulations in setting up and operating the FBTR, said there are around 10,000 technologists working on fast breeder reactor technologies - 2,500 are in the IGCAR and the others in various research and educational institutions.

    The 500MW prototype fast breeder reactor (PFBR), modeled on FBTR, will be completed by the end of 2011 or during the first quarter of 2012, he said.

    According to Atomic Energy Commission chairman Srikumar Banerjee, the FBTR is also the training centre for future fast breeder professionals. Speaking on the occasion, the government's Principal Scientific Advisor R.Chidambaram said in the context of climate change, closing the fuel cycle assumes greater importance. 'A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed between IGCAR, BHEL (Bharat Heavy Engineering Limited) and NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation) for joint development of advanced ultra super critical boilers used in thermal power plants,' he said

    According to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Deputy Director General Y.A.Sokolov, nuclear energy is an option which cannot be ignored in the quest to meet the world's increasing energy demand while reducing the release of greenhouse gases. He said today's installed nuclear capacity across the globe amounts to some 370 GW, contributing around 14 percent of the world's electricity generation. He said LWRs are used to economically and safely produce nuclear electricity. Recycling of uranium and plutonium from the spent fuel is possible there, saving 20-30 percent of natural uranium consumption. Meanwhile, ICGAR officials said October has been a significant month in India’s nuclear programme.

    The Uranium Corporation was set up on Oct 4, 1967 and the Tarapur Atomic Power Station started commercial operation Oct 2, 1969. It was Oct 20, 1996 when the Kalpakkam Mini (KAMINI) Reactor went critical. On Oct 22, 2004, fast breeder operating company Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Limited was set up and finally the fast breeder progamme celebrated its silver jubilee Oct 10, 2010.






    500MW Fast Breeder Reactor Prototype to be Ready by First Quarter of 2012 | India Defence
     
  12. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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  13. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    Is this the same thorium reactor technology that is being researched upon or are there multiple independent programmes pursuing the same aim? Good to see that we are having intense research in our own Thorium reactor tech. India should not just import but also export reactors. According to a report last year, when PP visited Lao PDR and Cambodia, her delegation had offered 250 MW reactors that European and American firms have ceased to make, for the 2 countries to ponder upon.

    A sale of thorium based fast breeder reactors could really boost up the prospects of we being exporters of nuclear tech as well under the guidelines of IAEA just as Russia, France and US do. What's more, smaller countries could actually afford us compared to the French and American ripoff firms.
     
  14. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    India's first PHWRs likely to be operational by 2015

    http://www.deccanherald.com/content/114879/indias-first-phwrs-likely-operational.html


    The construction work of India's first pair of indigenously designed 700-MW Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) for Kakrapar Atomic Power Project Units 3 and 4 began here today with the first pour of concrete and is expected to be completed by 2015.

    The First Pour of Concrete (FPC) is an important milestone in the construction of a nuclear power project. It essentially signifies the start of construction of the project (zero date), Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) said.

    The ground breaking for KAPP-3&4 started on January 16, 2010. The excavation work was successfully completed in a record time of four months.

    The 700-MW PHWR is the latest state-of-the-art technology nuclear power reactor which has been designed by NPCIL by scaling up its 540 MW PHWRs (TAPS-3&4) that are under successful operation at Tarapur since 2005.

    NPCIL has launched four indigenously designed 700-MW PHWRs, two each at Kakrapar in Gujarat and Rawatbhata in Rajasthan in January and August 2010, respectively. These reactors are slated for commercial operation in 2015 and 2016 respectively, NPCIL said.

    The excavation work of other pair of 700 MW PHWRs, RAPP-7&8, at Rawatbhata in Rajasthan, is also in advanced stage and the first pour of concrete is expected by March, 2011.

    Currently, NPCIL operates 19 nuclear power reactors with an installed capacity of 4560 MW.
     
  15. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    http://www.navhindtimes.in/opinion/poised-leap

    Poised for a Leap

    WITH the fourth unit of the Kaiga Atomic Power Station going critical India has become the sixth nation in the world to have 20 nuclear plants in operation. Kaiga-4 was built a few years ago but was unable to start production due to shortage of fuel.

    In fact the first three units of Kaiga were running at 70 per cent capacity due to shortage of indigenous fuel consequent on a ban on exports from supplier countries as India is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. However, all this changed after India was exempted from the guidelines of the Nuclear Suppliers Group in 2008, thus clearing the way for import of fuel. In terms of impact on the power scenario, Kaiga-4 is near negligible because the contribution of nuclear power to the total generated in the country still remains at an abysmal low of only three per cent. With the 220 MW unit coming on stream the Kaiga plant in Karnataka will contribute 880 MW of power to the grid from its four units raising the total contribution from nuclear power to 4,780 MW. Presently, India produces 568 billion units of power, of which 23 per cent is from hydro-power, 64 per cent from thermal power, 10 per cent from non-conventional sources and the remaining from nuclear fuel.

    Nuclear power has always been controversial and the possibility of accidents makes it scary. An accident in April 1986 in Chernobyl, Ukraine when a fire broke out in the fourth reactor sent a cloud of radioactive material into the atmosphere. Nearly 3.5 lakh people had to be evacuated. Kaiga has also been dogged by controversy. During the construction, a wall collapsed heightening safety concerns. Then in 1994 the under surface of a pre-stressed concrete dome came crashing down injuring 14 workers. This delayed completion of the first two units by three years. In November 2009, about 55 employees at the plant were affected by high radiation sickness. An inquiry revealed that a water cooler was contaminated with titrated water, but sabotage was ruled out. Thankfully, India has been spared a Chernobyl-type incident.

    India’s fascination with nuclear power started soon after Independence and in 1948 it became the first Asian nation to establish an Atomic Energy Commission. When uranium resources were discovered in present-day Jharkhand in 1951, it fuelled the dream of nuclear power and the first research reactor was set up in Mumbai in 1956. It was conceptualised that India would first build uranium-based reactors, then move to the second phase with fast breeder reactors and then the third stage where the vast thorium resources could be used in a thorium-uranium fuel cycle. Unfortunately, the uranium resources turned out to be poor and the 1974 nuclear blasts starved nuclear plants of fuel and technology. Consequently the ambition of producing 25,000 MW by 1987 was not realised even in 2010.

    As the Indian economy began to grow the requirement for power rose exponentially, and once again nuclear energy was seen as a means of bridging the gap. But first the pariah status of India had to be removed. This was accomplished when the government signed the nuclear deal with the United States eventually leading to the commission of Kaiga-4. US, France and UK see India, which proposes to have at least 20 large foreign-built nuclear plants, as a huge market for nuclear technology and other related material. New Delhi is now inching towards a deal with Japan which supplies critical components. Kaiga-4 is symbolic of a new era of co-operation for self-sufficiency in the power sector. Atomic Power Commission Chairman, Mr Srikumar Banerjee has announced that 24 light-water and heavy-water based reactors are in the pipeline and the country aims at producing 30,000 MW by 2020. This is a tall order, but with most of the hurdles removed the country is certainly poised for a leap.
     
  16. LETHALFORCE

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    http://www.hindu.com/2010/11/28/stories/2010112855221100.htm


    Kaiga-4 achieves criticality


    Karwar (Karnataka): The fourth unit of the Kaiga Generating Station (KGS) — the country's 20th nuclear power reactor — achieved criticality on Saturday. With this unit becoming operational, India now ranks sixth in terms of production of nuclear energy, behind the United States, France, Japan, Russia and South Korea.

    Addressing journalists at Kaiga, S.K. Jain, Chairman and Managing Director, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL), said criticality, in nuclear terms, signified the start of the self-sustaining nuclear fission chain reaction in the reactor core, which led to the production of energy. The new unit would produce 250 MWe of nuclear power, which would be distributed among the southern States. The unit would be synchronised with the southern grid after certain mandatory tests are carried out early next month.

    He said units 5 and 6 would raise the nuclear power installed capacity in the country from the current 4,560 MWe to 4,780 MWe. Kaiga-4 is an indigenous Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR).

    Unique distinction

    Dr. Jain said two Light Water reactors (LWRs) of 100 MWe each, at Kudankulam and a prototype fast breeder reactor of 500 MWe at Kalpakkam were at advanced stages of completion. He said the NPCIL was unique in having comprehensive capabilities in various facets of nuclear technology — namely site selection, design, construction, commissioning operation and maintenance, renovation, modernisation and life extension of nuclear power plants.

    Forest undisturbed

    Srikumar Banerjee, Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission, said units 5 and 6 would come up at Kaiga in the next couple of years and the site would be decided by a selection committee of NPCIL. The capacity of the each new unit would be 700 MWe, and the project would come up in the land already owned by NPCIL. He said there was no human habitation in the very small area required for the new units and the forest in the area would not be disturbed.

    Dr. Banerjee said the Dhruva reactor was supplying isotopes required for the other plants, having never been shut down. In Apsara, another reactor, the NPCIL had been using imported fuel, but had now changed to locally developed fuel. Another reactor in Vizag would supply the isotopes to other reactors, he said.

    Employees lauded

    Later, addressing a public function arranged by NPCIL, Dr. Jain lauded the efforts of employees towards the corporation's success. He declared that it would reserve 2 per cent of its profit for community work and he would ensure that the demand of the locals to build a bride near Kaiga and other works was taken up. The money allotted would never lapse, he said, and help would be taken from the district authorities to complete it.

    Dr. Srinivasan, former AEC Chairman, was honoured at the function.
     
  17. LETHALFORCE

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    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/indias-20th-nuclear-power-plant-becomes-ope/717173/

    India’s 20th nuclear power plant becomes operational


    Nuclear Power Corporation of India’s 220 MW Kaiga-4 reactor reached power production stage early on Saturday, pushing India up into a list of six countries having more than 20 operational nuclear power reactors. “Unit-4 of Kaiga Generating Station (KGS), the 20th nuclear power reactor of the country, achieved its first criticality today at 08:07 hours. The unit will be synchronised to the southern grid after carrying out certain mandatory tests early next month,’’ NPCIL said in an official statement on Saturday. The unit will supply power to Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry. With Kaiga-4 becoming operational, the installed capacity of nuclear power in India goes up from 4,560 MW to 4,780 MW. The operational status for Kaiga-4 puts India behind the US, France, Japan, Russia and South Korea, in terms of operational nuclear reactors. The achievement of criticality meant the start of a self-sustaining nuclear fission chain reaction in the reactor core, which leads to the production of power, NPCIL said.

    “Kaiga-4, like Kaiga 1, 2 and 3, are indigenous Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWR) of 220 MW and is fueled with the uranium sourced domestically,’’ NPCIL said.

    The reactor is the third NPCIL plant to begin operation this year after Rajasthan Atomic Power Station units 5 and 6.

    “Currently, two Light Water Reactors (LWRs), each of 1,000 MW at a Kudankulam as well as a Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) of 500 MW at Kalpakkam are at advanced stages of completion,’’ NPCIL said.
     
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    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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  19. LETHALFORCE

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    http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/WR_India_opens_new_reprocessing_plant_1601111.html

    India opens new reprocessing plant

    Nuclear scientists and engineers were called 'nation builders' by prime minister Manmohan Singh as he inaugurated India's latest reprocessing plant.

    The facility at Tarapur will break down highly radioactive used nuclear fuel to extract uranium and plutonium for reuse in fast neutron reactors.

    "We have come a long way since the first reprocessing of spent fuel in India in 1964 at Trombay," said Singh at yesterday's ceremony, "The recycling and optimal utilization of uranium is essential to meet our current and future energy security needs."

    He went on to congratulate all those "who have played a role in this important landmark and who have contributed to the development of our capabilities in atomic energy. In their own way, each one of our scientists and engineers engaged in this very important national project are nation builders."

    There are already several reprocessing plants in India - all operated by the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre - at Tarapur, Trombay and Kalpakkam. Small plants at each site were supplemented in 1998 by a new one of 100 tonnes per year at Kalpakkam, and this is now being extended to so that it may handle carbide fuel from the Fast Breeder Test Reactor.

    The new plant inaugurated yesterday at Tarapur also has a capacity of 100 tonnes per year, and another entirely new facility is under construction at Kalpakkam.

    Experts at the International Atomic Energy Agency told World Nuclear News that this second reprocessing plant at Tarapur is not among the facilities covered by the early 'type 66' safeguards agreement or the more comprehensive India-specific safeguards regime agreed last year.

    India's long-term nuclear power plans have been for a three-stage program which should enable it to eventually utilise its large reserves of thorium as reactor fuel. Besides importing technology and fuel from abroad, the country is still dedicated to using natural uranium in heavy-water reactors followed by plutonium-fuelled fast neutron reactors that would breed the thorium isotopes required for an ultimate fleet of advanced heavy water reactors. Key to all this is advanced capabilities in reprocessing used nuclear fuels to separate true wastes from materials that will be fuels for other reactors.
     
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    http://www.deccanchronicle.com/chennai/unique-atomic-fuel-mix-make-kalpakkam’s-fpbr-best-949

    Unique atomic fuel mix to make Kalpakkam’s FPBR the best

    Jan. 23: India is confident of commissioning the first-of-its-kind prototype fast breeder reactor (FBR) next year with the technology challenges confronting it having been overcome.

    The 500 MWe reactor, being developed by the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) here, uses a unique mix of uranium and plutonium which significantly enhances the capability to generate electricity per tonne of fuel utilised.

    “Our anxiety about technological challenges for the construction of the country’s first 500 MW Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) is over and we are at the closure for technology delivery,” IGCAR director Baldev Raj said.

    The indigenously-developed PFBR is at an advanced stage of construction under the aegis of state-owned Bhartiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam (BHAVINI) and is expected to be commissioned early next year. Raj said the technology developed by scientists at IGCAR was unique and the Indian PFBR would be the first such nuclear plant to be commissioned. Some other countries, including Korea, are also developing fast breeder reactors but they could be commissioned only in 2025.

    “We are confident of successfully commissioning the PFBR and are very cautious to deliver high capacity and high safety reactor of the second stage of the country’s three-stage programme closed fuel cycle,” Raj said. “The confidence has been reviewed by the DAE as well as commented upon by the international peer review — all favourably.”

    The sodium-cooled PFBR uses Uranium-Plutonium mixed oxide as fuel. The scientists have also successfully loaded 1,500 tonnes of the molten sodium which will be the coolant of the reactor. The total requirement is about 1,700 tonnes.

    “We do not see any concern in commissioning the PFBR,” he said. This is a result of decades of focused research at IGCAR towards mastering the technology with which we now have 400 reactor years of experience, he said. “We were able to overcome the technological challenges due to synergistic efforts of scientists of IGCAR, BHAVINI, the Indian manufacturing sector and about 200 academic institutions who have network with us,” Raj said.

    He said the technology development was done seven to eight years before launching PFBR in 2003. India plans to have at least five more 500 MW fast breeder reactors by 2020, two of which could be set up at Kalpakkam.
     

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