Core vessel installed at Kalpakkam fast breeder reactor

Chennai: India cleared a major milestone in its nuclear self-sufficiency programme, when the main vessel of the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) at Kalpakkam was lowered inside a previously installed safety vessel and aligned. The PFBR is part of India's three-stage nuclear power programme and is expected to attain criticality in September 2010.

 Fast Breeder Test Reactor at Kalpakkam
A release from Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Limited (BHAVINI), Kalpakkam, said the equipment which was lowered yesterday forms the heart of the reactor and was manufactured "to great precision."

The 12.5-metre tall vessel with an equal diameter, made of special stainless steel alloy, ''forms the heart of the PFBR reactor," BHAVINI chairman and managing director SK Jain said.

"This critical equipment was manufactured to great precision at the PFBR site itself," he said adding that with this, "PFBR has achieved a major milestone."

India's first 500-MW Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) is being developed at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) at Kalpakkam,

The vessel, weighing 206 tonnes, was moved from the assembly shop to the reactor site at noon on Friday and the installation was completed on Saturday morning.