Ratan Kumar Sinha takes over as BARC Director
Dr Ratan Kumar Sinha today today took over as the new Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and made a strong case for India to take up global leadership role in peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
59-year-old Sinha, who becomes the 10th director of the country's premier strategic lab, has been closely associated with the design and development of India's first thorium-based Advanced Heavy Water Reactor for the past 15 years.
Sinha took over from Dr Srikumar Banerjee, who is also the Atomic Energy Commission(AEC) Chairman, at a simple function held at Trombay.
"It is a great moment in my life and I thank my guru Kakodkar," Sinha said on the occasion. Dr Anil Kakodkar, former AEC Chairman, is Sinha's mentor.
Talking to newsmen, Sinha said, "India has to be not only relevant but also effective, excellent and efficient in taking up leadership in peaceful uses of atom in the new advantageous situation of international cooperation. Challenges are much more."
"We have to grow further and become better than best in the world in some areas, particularly in deployment of nuclear power in other parts of the world," he said.
The goals set by BARC founder Homi Bhabha will remain the same but milestones and priorities will keep changing as per the time, he added.
Sinha said some of BARC's priorities included ensuring supply of fuel to country's first Prototype fast breeder reactor (PFBR) and other non-safeguarded reactors, besides deployment of power and increase in production and supply of radio isotopes at a competitive price.
On the deployment of thorium on a commercial scale, he said, BARC has designed and developed a technology demonstration plant of Advanced Heavy Water Reactor (AHWR) and it would take few decades to reach there. Banerjee, holding the post for five years, handed over the charge to Sinha in the presence of several eminent scientists and engineers of Department of Atomic Energy family.
"I feel privileged to occupy a chair which was earlier occupied by our founding father Dr Homi J Bhabha and other stalwarts like Homi Sethna, Raja Ramanna, P K Iyengar, R Chidambaram, A N Prasad, Kakodkar, B B Bhattacharjee and Banerjee," Sinha said.
Sinha said the world class technologies developed by BARC scientists, inspite of technology denial regime, will continue to grow with a sustainable performance.