CHENNAI: The 500 MW Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) at Kalpakkam, an important milestone for country’s three-stage nuclear power programme, will be commissioned in next two months, according to Director of Indira Gandhi Centre of Atomic Research A K Bhaduri.
Speaking at the 5th International Congress of the International Institute of Welding here, he said that the reactor will generate 500 MW of power by the end of next year.
His comments came in the wake of PFBR getting delayed due to strict monitoring by Atomic Energy regulatory Board (AERB). Scientists have been giving several dates for the commissioning of PFBR, which demonstrates techno-economic viability of sodium-cooled fast reactors for commercial development.
Bhaduri said that PFBR will enable validation of first-of-its kind design concept and the experience gained during operation and maintenance of mechanisms, components and sensors in the sodium environment and at reactor operating temperature of 550 degree C.
Interestingly, Principal Scientific Advisor to Union government R Chidambaram highlighted the need of a zero defect welding to ensure that the sodium fuelled reactor doesn’t suffer from any leak which could be disastrous.
Bhaduri said that a computational-intelligence based welding system for on line monitoring and control during welding is developed for obtaining defect free welded components.
Talking about challenges, Bhaduri said based on radiation dose rate and shielding considerations during maintenance, handling and decommissioning, nickel-based Calmoney hard facing alloy was chosen to replace traditionally used Cobalt-base stellite alloy to make it wear resistant.