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Home > News > PTI

India's first nuke reactor to be refurbished

August 03, 2006 01:54 IST

India's first nuclear research reactor Apsara, whose fuel core is expected to be shifted outside the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre once the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal comes through, will undergo refurbishment after two years, the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre said here today.

Even before the Indo-US civilian nuclear talks, BARC had decided to refurbish Apsara as the current fuel core had served its purpose and 'we wanted enhance the nuclear neutron flux upto seven times and doubling the power to 2 MW'. 

BARC director Srikumar Banerjee told reporters. "We will be starting the process of refurbishing in 2008 and it will be done at a cost of Rs 5 crore."

The refurbishment will increase the capability to produce more isotopes and the same design of movable reactor trolley for carrying out various experiments will be incorporated in the refurbished reactor, he said. 

"We have already begun working on the design and once the fuel assembly gets ready and the building is strengthened to withstand seismic intensity, it will be put to operation mostly after two to three years," he said.

The existing core will be shifted outside BARC complex, whether or not the Indo-US nuclear deal comes through after two years, as the number of experiments that are being carried out have to be completed, Banerjee said.

The fuel core of the swimming pool-type reactor Apsara, which was loaded in 1983 and currently in use will be taken out as spent fuel and will be placed under a safeguarded pool, like Tarapur, Banerjee said.

Asked about the Cirus reactor, which was refurbished recently at a cost of Rs 3.3 crore, Banerjee said, "If the deal comes through, we have to shut down Cirus reactor, but it would be a well planned decommission activity."

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