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“Core Loading” has commenced at the Kalpakkam Nuclear Power Plant

Published on March 06, 2024
Current Context: The “Core Loading” at India’s first indigenous Fast Breeder Reactor (500 MWe) at Kalpakkam, Tamil Nadu, has indeed commenced on 4th March 2024.
“Core Loading” has commenced at the Kalpakkam Nuclear Power Plant
  • This marks a historic milestone in the second stage of India’s three-stage nuclear program.
  • The Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) has been fully designed and constructed indigenously by Bhartiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Ltd (BHAVINI) with significant contributions from more than 200 Indian industries.
  • Once commissioned, India will be the second country after Russia to have a commercial operating Fast Breeder Reactor.
  • The Fast Breeder Reactor (FBR) will initially use the Uranium-Plutonium Mixed Oxide (MOX) fuel.
  • The Uranium-238 “blanket” surrounding the fuel core will undergo nuclear transmutation to produce more fuel, thus earning the name ‘Breeder’.
  • The use of Thorium-232, which in itself is not a fissile material, as a blanket is also envisaged in this stage.
  • By transmutation, Thorium will create fissile Uranium-233 which will be used as fuel in the third stage.
  • In terms of safety, the PFBR is an advanced third-generation reactor with inherent passive safety features ensuring a prompt and safe shutdown of the plant in the event of an emergency.
  • It also offers a great advantage in terms of significant reduction in nuclear waste generated, thereby avoiding the need for large geological disposal facilities.

Question:

Q.1 Which organization has fully designed and constructed the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) indigenously?
a. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
b. Bhartiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Ltd (BHAVINI)
c. Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)
d. Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC)
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