Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Nuclear dream is set to come true: M.R. Srinivasan

"There is recognition worldwide that there are advantages to building a closed fuel cycle nuclear industry, as India has championed..."

A Nuclear dream is set to come true: M.R. Srinivasan | Deccan Chronicle:
One of the most important technological enterprises India has undertaken since Independence is now treading its last mile towards completion and commissioning. Called the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR), it is expected to go critical in September 2014, around the very time India’s Mars Orbiter reaches orbit around the Red Planet.
When the PFBR goes critical, India will have entered the second phase of a three-stage nuclear programme, the visionary plan for which was laid as far back as 1958 by Homi Jehangir Bhabha, the ‘Father of the Indian nuclear programme’. It will also have become a world leader in an area of advanced nuclear technology, by sheer determination and persistence, through 60 years of having had to build our nuclear industry from scratch and in the face of sanctions and other difficulties. Many advanced countries — including the US, the UK, France, and, Japan — have tried fast breeder reactor technology, and have given up, at least for the time being– some citing economic reasons, others because they were not able to surmount technological complexities, or faced public misgivings.
Read M.R. Srinivasan's entire article at the Deccan Chronicle site

And the very next day ... fast reactor news from Russia;

Beloyarsk 4 criticality soon | World Nuclear News
Commissioning is about to start at Russia's forthcoming fast reactor, Beloyarsk 4. After a lengthy construction period, engineers are preparing for criticality in April 2014.
The unit will be a 789 MWe fast-neutron reactor of the BN-800 design, fuelled by a mix of uranium and plutonium oxides arranged to produce new fuel material as it burns. The electricity will go to the central Sverdlovsk region of Russia, where regional governor Yevgeny Kuyzashev said it would support industrial investment.
The 'physical launch' of the new reactor was permitted by safety regulator Rostekhnadzor on 26 December. This entitled project leader AtomEnergoProekt (Saint Petersburg branch) to firstly load nuclear fuel and begin tests of safety systems. Test operation at the minimum power level is also permitted as a second step, to confirm the proper operation of control systems and instrumentation.
Sodium coolant is already in place and nuclear fuel has been delivered to the site. The steps outlined above should be complete by April 2014, said Rosatom, with commerical operation coming by the end of the year.

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