PM to launch fuel reprocessing plant

January 5th, 2011 - 8:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Thane, Jan 5 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will inaugurate a 100-tonne per annum Power Reactor Fuel Reprocessing Plant at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) at Tarapur here Friday, officials said.The plant would replace the existing 10-tonne per annum facility at BARC.

The new facility, capable of reprocessing 100 tonnes of spent fuel a year, would greatly enhance India’s presence in the select club of countries using the closed fuel cycle technology.

According to a high-ranking official, the new facility would also be used for commercial exploitation in the future.

He said the uranium and plutonium comprising the spent fuel from nuclear power reactors were separate and re-used, which leads to manifold increase in energy.

The plutonium is also used for other requirements of new or existing power plants, he said.

Top officials of the country’s nuclear sector, including Srikumar Banerjee, chairman of Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and secretary of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), R.K. Sinha, director of BARC, and S.K. Jain, chairman and managing director of Nuclear Power Corp of India, would be present on the occasion.

Maharashtra Governor K. Sankaranarayanan, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, and Deputy Chief Minister and Energy Minister Ajit Pawar will also attend.

The Tarapur Atomic Power Station, around 100 km from Mumbai, has a total of four nuclear power reactions - TAPS 1 and 2 and TAPS 3 and 4.

While TAPS 1 and 2, which started commercial production in 1969, are of 160 MW each and Boiling Water Reactors, TAPS 3 and 4, commissioned around five years ago, are indigenously-built Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors.

“TAPS has a very unique importance in India’s nuclear power programme,” and official said.

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