PM to witness initiation of core loading of fast breeder reactor

March 03, 2024 07:32 pm | Updated 07:32 pm IST - CHENNAI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday will witness the initiation of the core loading of India’s indigenous 500 Mwe Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) in the nuclear complex at Kalpakkam, about 70 km south of Chennai.

The initiation of the core loading of PFBR, developed by BHAVINI (Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Limited), would mark a “historic milestone in India’s nuclear power programme”, a release from the Press Information Bureau said.

The reactor core consists of control sub-assemblies, blanket sub-assemblies and fuel sub-assemblies, and the core loading activity would include the loading of the reactor control sub-assemblies, blanket sub-assemblies and fuel sub-assemblies that would generate power, it said.

PFBR marks the second stage of the three-stage nuclear power programme of the country with a “closed fuel cycle”, and the spent fuel from the first stage would be “reprocessed and used as fuel” in FBR. “A unique feature of this sodium cooled PFBR is that it can produce more fuel than it consumes, thus helping in achieving self-reliance in fuel supply for future fast reactors,” the release said.

With “minimised nuclear waste” generated from the reactor and advanced safety features, the FBRs would provide a safe, efficient and clean source of energy and contribute to the goal of net zero, it said.

“This is an important step for India towards thorium utilisation in the third stage of the nuclear power programme. Once commissioned, India will be the second country after Russia to have a commercial operating Fast Reactor,” it added.

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