Research N-reactor CIRUS to shutdown permanently on December 31

Discussion in 'Strategic Forces' started by LETHALFORCE, Dec 19, 2010.


    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Feb 16, 2009
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    India's 50-year-old research reactor CIRUS, a symbol of growth of the country's civil and strategic atomic programme, will be shut down permanently on December 31 as per the commitment made under the civil nuclear agreement with the US.

    CIRUS (Canada India Reactor Utility Services), refurbished in 2003, can operate for a few more years but "as per our commitment under Indo-US civil nuclear cooperation agreement, we will be shutting it down on December 31," top nuclear scientists said at a function organised to mark 50 years of CIRUS and 25 years of another research reactor Dhruva here today.

    However, one more research reactor will come up at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC)'s new campus at Visakhapatnam in the next few years to take India's nuclear programme to greater heights, they said.

    The indigenous fuel used in CIRUS will be allowed to cool and will be taken to the reprocessing plant in BARC complex here, BARC Director R K Sinha said at the function.

    The rest of the facility, after decontamination, can be used for students' training, he said.

    "The reactor will, however, not be decommissioned," Sinha said and added it can be used in a variety of ways.

    "The structure of CIRUS could be converted into a neutron producing system for doing sub-critical experiments," Sinha said, adding discussions are going on for making best use of this landmark research reactor post-shutdown.

    He said the whole process of shifting the fuel and decontamination will take at least one year.

    CIRUS, supplied by Canada, attained criticality (nuclear chain reaction) on July 10, 1960.

    A host of facilities like reprocessing, radioisotope processing, heavy water upgradation and radiological monitoring centres also got established in quick succession to understand the entire fuel cycle, Sinha said.

    Speaking on the occasion, Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Srikumar Banerjee said India needs a large number of reactors. "Currently, we lack in high flux reactors for doing material research, especially testing."

    Dhruva has also played an important role in the overall development of Indian nuclear programme. The 30 MW high-tech compact reactor, which will come up in Visakhapatnam, will focus on new areas of growth in nuclear science and engineering, he said.

    By 2032, India is expected to produce 60,000 MW electricity through atomic power, besides having a large programme on use of nuclear applications in medical field, agricultural applications and electronic equipment production, Banerjee added.

    Several veteran nuclear scientists and engineers involved in the establishment of CIRUS and Dhruva, includingPK Iyengar, AN Prasad, SD Soman, R Chidambaram and MR Srinivasan were present on the occasion.
  3. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

    Mar 7, 2009
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    After long years of service to the nation...

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