Press Esc to close
Friday 31 July 2015
News updated at 10:07 AM IST
Weather
Max: 21°C
Min : 33°C
In Bengaluru
Partially cloudy

India to have 6 fast breeder reactors

New Delhi, Feb 17, 2012, DHNS:

As the Indian Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) nears completion, the Centre plans to build six commercial fast breeder reactors in the next 15 years.

The 500 MW prototype fast breeder reactor at Kalpakkam in Tamil Nadu is expected to be commissioned by early 2013.

“The construction will be completed by September and fuel will be lowered by December. We expect commissioning by early 2013,” said S C Chetal, Director, Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) at Kalpakkam.

Six commercial fast breeder reactors had been planned subsequently based on the PFBR technology, said Baldev Raj, former IGCAR director. The first two of the six are planned during the 12th plan period and will be located in Kalpakkam.
The remaining four will be constructed in the 13th and 14th plan period. The locations are yet to be decided.

Fast breeder reactors “breed” more fissile material than the fuel they consume. They burn plutonium—generated in the Uranium-fueled pressurized heavy water reactors and light water reactors—to breed a type of fissile Uranium known as U-233, which is used as fuel.

The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) claims “breeders” are an integral part of India’s three stage nuclear power programme, till the nation graduate to the third stage for utilisation of thorium, which India has aplenty.

While DAE scientists claim India has a leadership position in breeder technology, there are many within the scientific community who claim that a breeder route is a bad idea as there are questions on the safety and economic viability of the technology.

“Breeder reactors are costly and unreliable. Reprocessing (of plutonium) is more costly than storing spent fuel. Nuclear utilities are concerned about high capital and reprocessing cost,” Frank von Hippel, Professor at Princeton University and co-chair of International Panel on Fissile Materials, said at a symposium on nuclear safety at the Indian National Science Academy here.

Criticism

High-cost, use of liquid sodium as coolant and the proliferation risks associated with plutonium are other key criticisms against the FBR technology. Reprocessing (of plutonium) is economically feasible only when breeder reactors compete with burner reactors (regular LWR or PHWR).

The catch, however, was nobody constructed such a breeder so far, Hippel said. The DAE scientists disagree.

They claim breeders have many advantages. “PFBR and BN-800 are two fast reactors under construction where cost is 20-30 per cent less than older generation reactors  like BN-600 and Super Phoenix in France,” Raj said, adding that China, India, France and Japan were committed to breeder reactors.

Adequate measures have been taken to keep the highly combustible liquid sodium in an inert environment so that it does not cause any trouble, Chetal says, adding that sodium coolant has many benefits.






Go to Top

Photo Gallery
A municipal worker fumigates submerged huts situated in the flooded banks of river Sabarmati in ...

A municipal worker fumigates submerged huts situated in the flooded banks of river Sabarmati in ...

A huge whale was found dead on the shores of the beach near Sister Fatima Church at Tannerbhavi ...

A huge whale was found dead on the shores of the beach near Sister Fatima Church at Tannerbhavi ...

School children and their teachers pay tribute to former President APJ Abdul Kalam in Moradabad ...

School children and their teachers pay tribute to former President APJ Abdul Kalam in Moradabad ...

The winning team of the UBA India Pro Basketball League 2015, Chennai Slam with the trophy after ...

The winning team of the UBA India Pro Basketball League 2015, Chennai Slam with the trophy after ...

An Indian boy dressed as Hindu god Shiva to attract alms from devotees chats with tourists as ...

An Indian boy dressed as Hindu god Shiva to attract alms from devotees chats with tourists as ...

People offer flower petals on the grave of former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam during his funeral ..

People offer flower petals on the grave of former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam during his funeral ..

1993 Mumbai blast convict Yakub Memon's brothers Suleiman and Usman sitting inside the car

1993 Mumbai blast convict Yakub Memon's brothers Suleiman and Usman sitting inside the car

People worship a bull during Bendur festival in Sangli on Wednesday...

People worship a bull during Bendur festival in Sangli on Wednesday...

Fire brigade and NDRF personnel rescue a person stuck in the three floor Matru-Chhaya...

Fire brigade and NDRF personnel rescue a person stuck in the three floor Matru-Chhaya...

Students of Patna Women's College wear tiger masks to create awareness to save tigers...

Students of Patna Women's College wear tiger masks to create awareness to save tigers...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523