The prototype of country’s first commercial fast breeder reactor, which is under construction at Kalpakkam in Tamil Nadu, is expected to be operational this year, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Monday.
The 500 MW reactor constructed at a cost of Rs 5,677 crore will be connected with the southern grid.
The fast breeder reactor, which breeds more material for a nuclear fission reaction than it consumes, is one of the key projects of the country’s nuclear power programme.
“India currently occupies an enviable position in atomic energy and high-energy physics. Indian nuclear scientists are attracting global interest in their effort to develop a Fast Breeder Reactor. I expect the prototype under construction in Kalpakkam to be completed this year,” Singh said while speaking at the Indian Science Congress here.
He said it will be a great day for Indian science and technology because the country will be one of the few countries in the world with leadership in a completely new area of nuclear technology that can contribute non-polluting electrical power.
The Prime Minister said the government has sanctioned Rs 1,450 crore for the establishment of a Neutrino-based Observatory at Pottipuram in Bodi West hills of Theni District in Tamil Nadu. The initial goal of INO is to study neutrinos.
The project is a multi-institutional effort aimed at building a world-class underground laboratory with a rock cover of approximately 1200 meter for non-accelerator based high energy and nuclear physics research in India.