India’s first indigenously developed fast breeder reactor at Kalpakkam may achieve criticality in 2019Sep 21,2018 SOURCE: PTI
The country’s first indigenously developed 500-megawatt (mw) prototype fast breeder reactor at Kalpakkam in Tamil Nadu is expected to achieve criticality next year, a senior official said. The project, which was earlier expected to be commissioned in 2012, has missed several deadlines. “Our indigenously developed prototype fast breeder reactor of 500 mw is now under going sodium commissioning. We expect criticality next year,” Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) secretary Sekhar Basu said at the 62th General Conference of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) held in Vienna. Achieving criticality means that the reactor is fully operational and safe.The design of the country’s first fast breeder reactor, called Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR), was done by the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR). Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam (Bhavini), a public sector company under DAE, has been given the responsibility to build the fast breeder reactors in the country. In a statement issued by the DAE, Basu said that India’s plans to build 21 reactors by 2030 was well on track. “I am glad to inform that the implementation of this programme is well on track. In addition, our discussions with foreign partners for bringing different technology is on,” he told the gathering.