TIMES CHENNAI  dated 06.03.2009

PFBR almost on schedule

Dr. Baldevraj Director IGCAR delivering the keynote address at the MOU signing
ceremony held at SRM University on Thursday March 05, 2009

Chennai:  After over two decades of work, India's first nuclear reactor that would breed more fuel than it consumes will be ready by the end of this year  said  IGCAR director Baldev Raj said on Thursday speaking on the sidelines of  function to mark the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the IGCAR and SRM University in Kattankulathur,

Work on second generation the 500-MW prototype fast breeder reactor (PFBR) was expected oto be completed by the end of current year, he said adding that it would be major achievement for the country, as no other country in Asian cub-contingent has developed it so far.

A breeder reactor is one that breeds more material for a nuclear fission reaction than it consumes, so that the reaction--that ultimately produces electricity--can continue, he explained.

 If all goes well, the Rs.3,500 crore/$700 million project promoted by Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Ltd  (Bhavini) will become the crowning glory for experts at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR), he added.

Many consignments of Sodium  has been injected to the reactor and that the tests conducted are positive.  Though we had lost some time during Tsunami we are almost on schedule  and the dates of commissio0ning would be announced shortly,

Atmospheric and environment monitoring programme

He added that the Micro Meteorological Tower, to check weather conditions and pollution levels, will be built by Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam, on the premises of SRM University.

First of its kind in Chennai, the facility was being built as part of IGCAR’s atmospheric and environment monitoring programme. The Micro Meteorological Tower would help in establishing surface, air and water pollution levels apart from helping urban planners in proper use of land space, Dr. Baldev Raj said.

he said it was part of a larger programme to make industries and educational institutions, including schools, monitor pollution levels in the environment.

A prototype of the tower about 15 metres tall would first be built, before the actual tower measuring 50 metres in height was installed. It would cost about Rs. 20 lakh and completed in about three months, Dr. Baldev Raj said. There were also plans to collaborate with research and educational institutions in designing a kit that would make it possible for even school children to test pollution levels. The IGCAR was planning to make the kit available at a cost of Rs. 10,000.

Advanced Heavy Water Reactor (AHWR)

Progress was made on the AHWR fuel cluster design optimisation studies in terms of vibration consideration and thermal hydraulic point. . Advanced operator information system for integration of all available AHWR plant information system at a single location was under development.

The peer review of the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of AHWR was completed by the 15 Review Groups of NPCIL. AHWR was also undergoing a review for its compliance with the international standards through participation in the IAEA initiated International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles (INPRO). 

The project is under review at the Regulatory Board  and concurrence is expected to be received by next year.  Once the concurrence is given  it would take atleast seven years to complete the project  he added.

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