Kalpakkam (Chennai), May 14 (ANI): Thermal baffle, a cylindrical safety vessel, was installed at India's fast-breeder nuclear reactor in Kalpakkam near Chennai on Thursday.
This critical component added to India's first fast-breeder reactor for commercial nuclear energy generation, will help in sodium being used in the plant for cooling.
The 60-tonne thermal baffle, measuring some 12-metre in diameter and over six metres in height, is made of stainless steel. It was designed and fabricated by the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR).
According to experts the fast-breeder reactor, being built by Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Ltd (Bhavini), is one of the key projects of India's three-stage nuclear power programme.
India is only the sixth country to have such technology.
"This has taken India to a position when anything can be made. And now with the Indo-US agreement, we are finding that almost everybody in the world is coming to India and trying to say that we can make this equipment in India. The forefront is this that the reactor and the equipment that we have made here is of high precision," said Prabhat Kumar, Project Director of the prototype fast breeder reactor, Bhavini.
He also mentioned that keeping in view the ever-increasing energy requirements, India is all set to establish at least four nuclear reactors besides the world's first thorium-based reactor by 2020.
"We have got a plan of this reactor and six more reactors of 500 MW to come by 2023. Then India has got a plan of series of 1000 MW reactors of metallic fuel, that will form the backbone of electricity production by nuclear route in India," Kumar added.he 500-megawatt (MW) prototype fast breeder reactor, costing about 1.25 billion dollars is expected to start functioning by September 2011.
India currently has 17 nuclear power reactors under operation with a capacity of 4,120 MW. This is expected to go up to 7,280 MW after the completion of six projects under implementation, including the 500-MW fast-breeder reactor at Kalpakkam. (ANI)