Andhra Pradesh

“We are using Tummalapalli uranium reserves in large scale”

N. Saibaba, distinguished scientist and Chief Executive of Nuclear Fuel Complex, Hyderabad. Photo: S. Rambabu

N. Saibaba, distinguished scientist and Chief Executive of Nuclear Fuel Complex, Hyderabad. Photo: S. Rambabu

Noted nuclear scientist and Chief Executive of Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC), Hyderabad, Dr. N. Saibaba has said that the uranium reserves that were found about four years ago near Tummalapalli village in Kadapa district in large scale are being used in massive scale from the last eight months in most of the nuclear reactors in the country.

He stated that with alcoholic bleaching system, the NFC secured excellent results from Tummalapalli fields and found about 2 lakh tonnes of uranium in that area.

In an exclusive Interview to The Hindu , Dr. Saibaba said the NFC depended on the uranium plant in Jharkhand earlier, but qualitative uranium from Tummalapalli was being used in atomic power stations and defence laboratories.

He said that the NFC at Hyderabad is the most important link in India’s nuclear fuel cycle. It produces fuel for all the nuclear power reactors of the country. It also produces components such as blanket fuel containing thorium pellets, nickel and steel reflector assemblies and others for FBTR (fast breeder test reactors).

Special alloy

Dr. Saibaba said NFC produced a special alloy of Nioblung-Hafnium and Titanium for India’s space programmes, which has been successfully tested. He said: “Till now, the two reactors at Kalpakkam are using FBTR and now we are going to commission Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR), a new type of reactor with 500 MW power capacity.” He said there were three important stages in PFBR and the NFC would cross the second stage after commissioning, heralding a new chapter in Indian atomic history.

Misconceptions

When asked about radiation affects and opposition to the Kundankulam Nuclear Power Project, Dr. Saibaba said that there were many misconceptions about nuclear power among the public and environmentalists, which should be cleared by nuclear scientists and academicians. He said all the nuclear plants were located near sea coasts and no major accident was reported in our country till date.

“We are having the expertise and technology to tackle reactor problems during earthquakes and tsunamis like Fukushima in Japan,” Dr. Saibaba added.


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Printable version | May 27, 2022 3:27:05 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/we-are-using-tummalapalli-uranium-reserves-in-large-scale/article6636984.ece