IGCAR to develop 1000mw fast breeder reactors

Kalpakkam: With the construction of the 500mw prototype fast breeder reactor having commenced (PFBR), the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) has decided to design and develop higher capacity fast breeder reactors.

The research centre will soon launch an advanced version of fast breeder reactors with better 'breeding' with a capacity of 1,000mw.

According to officials, when PFBR was conceived in 1982, the biggest turbine in India then was the coal-fired 500mw. The centre decided to stick to the same capacity as domestic component manufacturers like Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) and others were conversant with it. The other reason was to commercialise the design faster without losing time.

The Rs3,492-crore PFBR project is being implemented by Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Limited, a joint venture between IGCAR (the technology provider), and the Nuclear Power Corporation Limited.

Work on the project started last October and around 5 lakh cubic metres of sand were excavated by digging around 20 metres before the first pour of concrete.

The new company has around 60 employees headed by S K Jain, chairman and managing director, Nuclear Power Corporation. The other senior officials are Prabhat Kumar, director (construction) and R Prabhakaran director (technical).

Orders for 15 components have been already placed and the others are in the process of being sourced. According to the officials around Rs3 crore per day will be spent on the project.