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Long delay in development of India’s fast breeder nuclear reactor

Fast breeder nuclear reactor delayed by 8 yrs, Deccan Herald, Kalyan Ray, DH News Service, New Delhi, Apr 15 2017,   On record, the target continues to be October 2017  The Centre has set a new target schedule of mid-2018 to commission India’s first gen-next fast breeder nuclear reactor – eight years behind original schedule. Sources in the Department of Atomic Energy told Deccan Herald that the middle of 2018 was being looked at a more realistic target to put the new reactor into operation.

Once functional, the fast breeder reactor would usher in the second stage of India’s three-stage nuclear power programme as envisioned by Homi Bhabha, the father of Indian nuclear programme.

Fast breeder reactors “breed” more fissile material than the fuel they consume. They burn plutonium – generated in Uranium-fueled pressured heavy water reactors and light water reactors – to breed a special type of fissile uranium known as U-233, which is used as fuel.

Anti-nuclear activists, however, are concerned on the FBR reactors for two reasons. No one is sure about its long-term commercial viability and ecological-impact in the absence of similar reactors in other nations. Secondly, it uses liquid sodium, a hazardous material as coolant.

The sodium cooling leads to a temperature of 600 degrees Celsius inside the reactor, because of which there are safety concerns.

“From the day of pouring liquid sodium into the system, we need at least five months for the FBR to generate commercial electricity,” sources said.

As per the original schedule, the project was to be commissioned in September, 2010, which was later rescheduled to September 2014.

The goalpost was against shifted to September 2016 and later on to October 2017….http://www.deccanherald.com/content/606431/fast-breeder-nuclear-reactor-delayed.html

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April 19, 2017 - Posted by | India, technology

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