1. On March 4, Prime Minister Narendra Modi witnessed the start of the process of core-loading the indigenous prototype fast breeder reactor (PFBR) at the Madras Atomic Power Station in Kalpakkam, Tamil Nadu. A statement from his office called the occasion “a historic milestone in India’s nuclear power programme”.
  2. The PFBR is a machine that produces more nuclear fuel than it consumes. Its core-loading event is being hailed as a “milestone” because the operationalisation of the PFBR will mark the start of stage II of India’s three-stage nuclear power programme.
  3. The PFBR has a capacity of 500 MWe. In 2019, the DAE proposed building four more fast breeder reactors (FBRs) of 600 MWe capacity each – two in Kalpakkam from 2021 and two from 2025, with sites to be selected. Experts have said the best way to moot work on stage II technologies is to press the reactors into commercial service.