Press Esc to close

India to have 6 fast breeder reactors

New Delhi, Feb 17, 2012, DHNS: 1:51 IST
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
Actress and BJP MP Hema Malini along with her daughters Ahana and Esha cutting a cake to celebrate..

Actress and BJP MP Hema Malini along with her daughters Ahana and Esha cutting a cake to celebrate..

Union Minister for Defence, Nirmala Sitharaman with Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba and ..

Union Minister for Defence, Nirmala Sitharaman with Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba and ..

Kamaraj Congress (KKC) and Most Backward Communities Federation demonstrators lying on the road in..

Kamaraj Congress (KKC) and Most Backward Communities Federation demonstrators lying on the road in..

Rajesh Talwar arrives at his residence in Noida on Monday after he, along with his wife Nupur, was..

Rajesh Talwar arrives at his residence in Noida on Monday after he, along with his wife Nupur, was..

Social activists sit near earthen lamps, lit in a formation that reads 'No Crackers', to urge ...

Social activists sit near earthen lamps, lit in a formation that reads 'No Crackers', to urge ...

Dentist-couple Nupur and Rajesh Talwar coming out of the Dasna Jail in Ghaziabad on Monday after ...

Dentist-couple Nupur and Rajesh Talwar coming out of the Dasna Jail in Ghaziabad on Monday after ...

Widows celebrating Diwali at Gopinath Temple in Vrindavan near Mathura on Monday...

Widows celebrating Diwali at Gopinath Temple in Vrindavan near Mathura on Monday...

Widows attending the marriage ceremony of a young widow at Gopinath Temple in Vrindavan near ...

Widows attending the marriage ceremony of a young widow at Gopinath Temple in Vrindavan near ...

Bollywood actress Vaani Kapoor presents a creation during a fashion event in New Delhi on Saturday..

Bollywood actress Vaani Kapoor presents a creation during a fashion event in New Delhi on Saturday..

Newly elected Allahabad University Students Union President Avanish Kumar Yadav (center) along..

Newly elected Allahabad University Students Union President Avanish Kumar Yadav (center) along..

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523
Powered by Yodasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.