First indigenous fast breeder reactor gets safety vessel

June 24th, 2008 - 8:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Kalpakkam, June 24 (IANS) The safety vessel for India’s first indigenously-built 500 MW fast breeder reactor (FBR) was Tuesday placed in the reactor’s concrete vault at the Department of Atomic Energy’s campus in this Tamil Nadu town. The 140 tonne stainless steel vessel, the first to be completely fabricated in India, gleamed in the bright sunshine as it was gently lowered into the vault at a time when the wind velocity was at its least and oscillation, thus, at the minimum.

The huge stainless steel vessel, 13 metres in diameter and 13 metres high, cost Rs.200 million and was built at the site by engineering major L&T.

“It has the capacity hold 11 lakh (1.1 million) litres of (cooling) liquid,” A. Ananth, project engineer (Planning and Instrumentation) of the Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Limited (BHAVINI), told reporters.

BHAVINI is implementing the second stage of India’s nuclear power programme. It is involved in the construction and commissioning of the Kalpakkam FBR and subsequent reactors of a similar type.

Atomic Energy Commission chairman Anil Kakodkar, Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research director Baldev Raj and officials of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India and BHAVINI were present on the occasion.

The FBR project was started in 2003 and is expected to start producing power by 2010.

The safety vessel was supposed to be in place by November last year but got delayed by more than six months due to the non-availability of cranes to lift and lower the vessel.

A crane was then specially designed and erected for the purpose.

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