PM launches Rs 400-crore demonstration fast reactor fuel reprocessing plant

According to the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), the integrated commissioning of the PFBR is in an advanced stage.

Chennai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday dedicated to the nation the Rs 400 crore Demonstration Fast Reactor Fuel Reprocessing Plant (DFRP) at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR), Kalpakkam.

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The plant is a pilot for the bigger facility that would come up to reprocess the fuel that would come out of the two more 500 MW Prototype Fast Breeder Reactors (PFBR) that would come up later.

The fast reactor power generation company Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Ltd (BHAVINI) in Kalpakkam is setting up the PFBR and in the future, two more fast reactors will also be built by the company.

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The DFRP is equipped with a unique design, which is the only of its kind in the world and is capable of reprocessing both carbide and oxide fuels discharged from the fast reactors.

It is entirely designed by Indian scientists and signifies a crucial step towards building large commercial-scale fast reactor fuel reprocessing plants.

According to the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), the integrated commissioning of the PFBR is in an advanced stage.

Last August, the main vessel of the PFBR was filled with 1,15 ton of liquid sodium. All the indigenously manufactured primary and secondary sodium pumps have been put in service successfully and integrated commissioning of the plant is in an advanced stage, the DAE said.

The Fast Reactor Fuel Cycle Facility (FRFCF), being set up in Kalpakkam near here, is expected to be completed by December 2027.

The FRFCF project is executed by the Nuclear Recycle Board, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and the DAE.

Originally budgeted at about Rs 9,600 crore, the purpose of the FRFCF is to reprocess the spent fuel of the fast breeder reactors.

A fast breeder reactor is one which breeds more material for a nuclear fission reaction than it consumes. It is the key to India’s three-stage nuclear power programme. The FRFCF project would employ about 1,500-2,000 people, nuclear power sector officials had told IANS earlier.

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