Nuclear India

Published By The
Department of Atomic Energy
Government of India


VOL. 34/NO. 5-6/Nov-Dec 2000


Rajasthan Atomic Power Station 3 & 4



The Unit-4 of the Rajasthan Atomic Power Project (RAPP)- a 220 MWe pressurized Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR) - achieved criticality on November 3, 2000 at 03:53 hrs after regulatory clearance from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB). RAPP-4 achieved criticality in less than a year of criticality of Unit-3 (December 24, 1999) which was synchronized to the grid on March 10, 2000. Thus, in a period of about one-year, NPCIL has commissioned four nuclear reactors (Kaiga-1, Kaiga-2, RAPP-3 and RAPP-4) with a cumulative capacity of 880 MWe. This has established technical and managerial prowess of NPCIL in commissioning of multi-nuclear reactor units simultaneously. The Unit-4 is planned to be synchronized to the Northern Grid shortly after the completion of physics experiments. With this, the total number of operating nuclear reactors will go to 14 and the total installed nuclear power capacity in the country to 2720 MWe. The Rajasthan Station is situated at Rawatbhata, District Chittorgarh, in Rajasthan. The site has already three nuclear power reactors (RAPS 1, 2 and 3), which are under operation. The site has also achieved the distinction of being the largest nuclear park in the country.


The Rajasthan Plant design meets all the latest standards and safety features based on defence-in-depth, redundancy, diversity and ‘fail-safe’ philosophy. The Rajasthan Plant has double containment around the reactor with dome-inside-dome concept and is provided with two fast-acting shutdown systems and improved version of emergency core cooling. This Plant is equipped with most advanced, state-of-the-art computerized control and monitoring systems, developed by NPCIL and other sister units of DAE.


The plant is also designed to withstand high seismic intensity corresponding to a maximum possible earthquake having a return period of one in 10,000 years. To prevent any discharge into the aquifers from the steam cycle, the natural draught cooling towers have been provided.


The three units of Rajasthan Plant (RAPS-1, 2 and 3) have so far supplied 30,000 million units (MUs) of electricity, as on end October 2000, to the northern grid. All the operating nuclear power plants in the country have supplied 1,53,906 MUs since commencement of their commercial operation. India has more than 170 reactor-operating-years accident free experience.


NPCIL's plant performance has been on the upswing during last five years. All the nuclear power plants have been operating close to world level. The average capacity utilization of these plants was 80% during the last financial year (1999-2000) and 80%-plus during the current financial year.


The company has posted a net profit of Rs 356 crores (provisional) during the first half (April-September) of the current financial year (2000-2001).


Russian President visits BARC


Russian President Mr. Vladimir Putin visited BARC on October 5, 2000. He is the first leader of Russia to visit BARC.


Mr. Putin was shown Dhruva reactor and also an exhibition specially put up for the occasion depicting the scientific and technological strength of the Department of Atomic Energy.


While addressing the gathering of senior scientists of DAE, Mr. Putin lauded the achievements of DAE and complimented them for their accomplishments. He said that he was impressed by the Indian reactor safety record. He described BARC as a ‘temple of science and technology' in the 21st century. The President also remarked that the interaction between India and Russia on peaceful uses of Atomic Energy dates back to early 1970’s and it continues till date.


Dr. R. Chidambaram, Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission, while speaking on the occasion said that India would like to build light water reactors of modern design and eventually indigenize this technology. He further stressed that decision to join hands with Russia for technical co-operation in setting up two 1000 MWe light water reactors (LWRs) at Kudankulam, is a step in this direction. He expressed hope that the co-operation between the two in this field will grow further in the coming years.


The Russian President was presented a memento displaying ‘Dhruva’ and ‘Cirus’ and peaceful uses of atomic energy.


Dr. Anil Kakodkar, Director, BARC in his remarks thanked the Russian President for visiting BARC.


Russian President Mr. Vladimir Putin with Dr. Anil Kakodkar, Director, BARC and Dr. R. Chidambaram, Chairman, AEC.


"IAEA with its comprehensive in-house expertise as well as its access to globally available expertise, would do well to pool all resources to facilitate the role of nuclear energy in sustainable development......."


Mr. President,


May I begin by congratulating you on behalf of my delegation and on my own behalf on your election to the Presidency of this General Conference. I am confident that under your able guidance this General Conference will successfully accomplish the tasks assigned to it. I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome the entry of Azerbaijan, Tajikistan and the Central African Republic to the membership of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).


I have great pleasure in reading out a message from the Prime Minister of India, Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee: "We have emerged from the Millennium Summit of the United Nations with a redoubled resolve to work for balanced and sustainable socio-economic development for our people. The energy of the atom can be harnessed to further this agenda. Nuclear power provides an important and clean energy option for mitigating the energy shortfalls in the developing world. Last year, we in India had commissioned two modern nuclear power reactors, built with indigenous technology and expertise. We have also succeeded in increasing the average capacity factor in our nuclear power plants to a figure of 80 %. Scientific research has uncovered beneficial applications of radioisotopes and radiation in agriculture, medicine and industry.


Dr. R. Chidambaram, Chairman, AEC addressing the General Conference of the IAEA


Together with ensuring safety and monitoring safeguards, we believe that the IAEA has an important role in promoting technological capabilities among its member states for these developmental goals. As a founder member of the Agency, India would extend its fullest support to these endeavors.


I take this opportunity to wish the 44th General Conference of the IAEA all success in its deliberations.


This year the Director General submitted to the Board the Agency’s Medium Term Strategy (MTS), envisaged to form the basis for the formulation of programme proposals in the years 2001-2005. In this regard, I would like to emphasize that the IAEA was created with the main objective of accelerating and enlarging the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world. This is the central pillar on which the Agency should rest while giving due consideration to safeguards measures to prevent the use of Agency assistance for military proposes and establish safety standards for protection of health and minimization of danger to life and property. Safety and safeguards are indeed important and necessary supporting activities to enlarging and accelerating the contribution of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. However, they cannot become activities of the IAEA overshadowing the peaceful uses of atomic energy. Primacy must be accorded to technology. This is the only way we can faithfully interpret the time-tested Statute of the Agency.


Our delegation supports the priority assigned to the potential role of nuclear energy in sustainable development in the Medium Term Strategy which is in line with the recommendations of the Scientific Forum held during the last General Conference. In this regard, we would like to reiterate that IAEA with its comprehensive in-house expertise as well as its access to globally available expertise, would do well to pool all resources to facilitate the role of nuclear energy in sustainable development. This is the need of the hour and the Agency programme should include the Role of innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles for Sustainable Development. We appreciate the Director General’s efforts in trying to establish a Task Force for this purpose. We feel strongly that it will be worthwhile for the Agency to support this programme as part of the regular programme of the Agency.


In the context of sustainability of nuclear power, it is appropriate for the Agency to address the issue of various nuclear fuel cycle options. A discussion by experts on the merits and problems of the closed-fuel cycle versus the open-fuel cycle with its associated technical, financial and environmental aspects could form a meaningful part of the Medium Term Strategy. Recognizing the importance of the role of nuclear energy especially in developing countries, India, along with Group 77 and China, has been requesting a ‘Nuclear Technology Review’ on the lines of the nuclear safety review and to discuss it as part of the dedicated agenda in the Board and in the General Conference. We are happy that the Director General has heeded to our request and has also appointed Standing Advisory Groups for Nuclear Energy and Nuclear Science and Applications.


Mr. President, even in countries which are currently seeing a slowdown in their nuclear power development programme it is likely that a reversal would occur due to two factors - firstly, due to a substantial increase in oil prices as is happening now and, secondly, due to their commitment to the Kyoto Protocol. For a large country like India, with its need to increase its per capita electricity consumption substantially, rapid growth in nuclear electricity generation capacity is of vital importance.


In India, our strong policy emphasis on nuclear power is on the operation of nuclear power plants in a safe and reliable manner. It is a matter of satisfaction that the second unit of Rajasthan Atomic Power Station, where coolant channel replacement and upgradation works were successfully completed in 1998 based on indigenous technology and tools, has been operating exceedingly well since then. During the last General Conference (GC) we had announced the commissioning of an indigenously designed and built 220 MW(e) pressurized heavy water reactor (PHWR) at Kaiga. Since then another PHWR has gone commercial at Rajasthan. Two more units of 220 MWe are expected to reach criticality soon. Construction work on the indigenously designed 500 MW(e) PHWR units at Tarapur is in full swing. The preparation of the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the construction of two 1000 MW (e) VVERs at Kudankulam in technical co-operation with Russia began in April 1999 and is expected to be completed next year. Site related activities have already commenced.


Necessitated by our limited uranium resources and in order to ensure long term energy security, India has opted for a closed nuclear fuel cycle policy, involving a fast breeder reactor programme and thorium utilization and associated fuel reprocessing and refabrication plants. The capabilities for providing the technology resources for our programme have been mainly derived from our strong R & D programme, in the 15-year old Fast Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR) at Kalpakkam, the performance of the unique and indigenously developed mixed Uranium-Plutonium Carbide fuel has been extremely good and so far it has reached a maximum burn-up of 53,830 MWd/t without any fuel failure. Preparations for the commencement of construction of a 500 MWe Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) is underway. The U-233 fuelled Kamini research reactor is also being operated successfully. A closed fuel cycle is also important for the safe management of the environment as it brings down the quantity of high level wastes to very low levels.


At the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), there is a strong emphasis on activities related to the design and development of the Advanced Heavy Water Reactor (AHWR) by using plutonium and U233. The reactor will have several advanced safety features such as passive safety systems not requiring either external power or operator action for activation. Experimental programmes to validate the computer codes used for the design of the natural circulation based coolant system of the AHWR are now well under way. India’s efforts in developing the AHWR, which will facilitate thorium utilization, is an effort toward developing innovative reactor and fuel cycle designs for sustainable development of nuclear energy. The growth in installed power generation capacity will, of course, continue with plants of state-of-the-art designs of thermal and fast reactors with emphasis on improved safety. In this context, we appreciate the initiative of President Putin announced in the recent UN Millennium Summit where he has recognized that the most rapid energy production growth will take place in the next century in the developing countries. He has also said that to diminish ecological degradation caused by greenhouse gases and to save global fossil reserves for non-electricity uses by the present and future generations there is the need to develop new nuclear technologies which are also proliferation resistant. As already mentioned by me earlier, IAEA with its comprehensive membership covering almost the entire world and more importantly, the developing Member States, has the collective responsibility to find technological solutions to such problems. India on its part, as always, strongly supports these efforts and will actively participate in such initiatives.


We are also pursuing R & D in non-grid based electricity applications of nuclear energy such as desalination, process heat generation, production of non-fossil fuels and compact portable power packs. Since 1995, MOX fuel designed at BARC has been introduced in a limited fashion in the Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs) at Tarapur. The fuel has performed well and the discharged assemblies will now undergo post irradiation examination. This programme is a forerunner to the introduction of MOX in a bigger way for the utilization of Pu in thermal reactors in addition to the programme of using Pu in fast reactors. This experience in plutonium recycle is also of importance in the context of our long term interest in thorium which, incidentally is also an excellent host for deep burning of fissile materials as compared to other alternatives and offers excellent characteristics needed for addressing issues related to large-scale deployment of nuclear power globally.


The power programme has been matched by good performance from its support base. The Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC) has exceeded its target for the production of fuel and structural components for 1999-2000, while reducing the energy consumption per kilogram of fuel fabrication. A few weeks back it reached a major milestone by manufacturing the 2,00,000th bundle of PHWR fuel. The Heavy Water Board by streamlining its manufacturing processes, ensured lower production costs while enhancing quality and productivity at the same time. The Electronics Corporation of India (ECIL) successfully tested and supplied microprocessor based safety related systems for nuclear power plants at Kaiga and Rajasthan and installed successfully a man-machine interface (MMI) application package in the control instrumentation at Narora and Kakrapar.


From the point of view of safety also the last year has been excellent. A peer review was successfully performed early this year by the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) at the nuclear power plant at Narora, one of our older indigenously designed plants. The Y2K roll-over occurred smoothly in India. As one of the 11 critical sectors identified by the Government of India had taken, in advance, all precautionary measures in the atomic energy sector. The AERB monitored all the activities in this regard. Progress has also been made in initiating safety related research projects at the Safety Research Institute of AERB.


Our R & D programme has continued to lay emphasis in areas such as medicine, agriculture and industry. Tracer technology has been used successfully to detect leaks in petrochemical industries. A commercial facility for irradiation of spices up to 12,000 tones/year was commissioned early this year near Mumbai. A POTON irradiator, a demonstration plant for irradiation of 10 tones/hour of potatoes and onions is nearing completion. The Board for Radiation and Isotope Technology (BRIT) has developed and exported gamma chambers against orders received from the IAEA. It recently exported 50,000 curies of Cobalt-60 source along with irradiation flask and conveyor system to Bangladesh. Based on its R & D, the implantation of biocompatible metallic stents, coated with 32P, to help patients who have undergone angioplasty has been undertaken successfully. Some work in these areas has also been taken up under the aegis of the Regional Co-operation Agreement (RCA) programme for Asia and the Pacific. As a founder member of the RCA, India is a strong supporter of the programme and has hosted several events including the meeting of the RCA national coordinators meeting early this year.


India continues to invest in fundamental research. For example, at the Institute for Plasma Research (IPR), work on the indigenous fabrication of the superconducting steady state tokamak SST 1 is in full swing and the commissioning of the tokamak is expected by end 2002. We would be happy to participate, on the basis of our experience, in international efforts towards development of fusion power.


As regards Agency activities, a unique feature was the organization of an Industrial Forum in January this year. It is very important that we harmonize and focus the promotional efforts being made by the private sector, governments and inter-governmental and international organizations in the field of nuclear power. Measures taken in this direction will have a catalytic effect in boosting and reinforcing the efforts by each body individually, in its own right, for the common good.


Under the auspices of IAEA, several mechanisms currently exist for facilitating information exchange and cooperative R & D activities, among interested Member States, in areas relating to peaceful applications of nuclear energy. It has often been felt that the existing mechanisms have some limitations, particularly those linked to inadequate funding, which restrain a desirable expansion in the reach, range and volume of such programmes. This is evident from the fact that several recommendations made in various IAEA symposia, AGMs, Consultants’ Meetings , etc. cannot be expeditiously followed up by the Agency on account of budgetary constraints.


While participating in the Industrial Forum, I had suggested a new mechanism for international co-operation termed "Innovative Technology Development Nucleation Programme" (ITDNP). In my opinion, the new mechanism, if adopted, could be of great benefit both to the Agency and the concerned Member States interested in coming together to pursue joint R & D programmes without imposing any significant financial burden on the Agency.


The Agency had placed before the Board of Governors a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the IAEA and the OECD/NEA this year. The senior Experts Group of which I was a member, did speak of enhancing synergies in the field of nuclear energy. But I wish to stress that synergies can be strengthened only in an atmosphere of transparency. We sought clarifications in the draft which would eliminate any chance of adverse discrimination to Non-OECD members of IAEA through application of the MoU, in particular the need to examine how the confidentiality clause of the NEA impacts on information available to non-OECD members. It is important that any such confidentiality clause should not cause non- OECD members to be denied a part or all of the information relating to an item of co-operation under consideration. Our worry was that whatever co-operation was carried out under the auspices of the MoU should not be considered by the NEA to be confidential. Moreover, the purpose of the co-operation is lost when we are merely presented the results of the activities, without being privy to the scientific and technological effort by which the results were arrived at. In any joint venture of this nature, each party shares its expertise and cooperates to achieve the common goal. Therefore, one can understand this MoU addressing specific activities pertaining to areas of common interest and co-operation but not single Agency activities. Each Agency is responsible for its own activities in accordance with its statutory functions. In our opinion, therefore, this MoU should avoid mentioning "single Agency Activities".


India has consistently supported the Technical Co-operation activities of the Agency. As in the past India is pleased to pledge in full its share for the Technical Co-operation Fund 2001 and payment will be made on time as always. In addition, we are assisting, through expertise and equipment, two ‘footnote-a’ projects in Sri Lanka and have also offered our partnership in the establishment of a nuclear programme in that country. Regarding the funding of technical co-operation activities, we have participated in the consultations with Co-Chairpersons, the Ambassadors of Finland and Mexico. India played a key role in assisting the previous Chairman, the Ambassador of Netherlands, in arriving at the Indicative Planning Figure (IPF) in 1998. At that point we had explored with the Ambassador of the Netherlands the possibility of including the TC Fund as a part of the regular budget to make the resources for the TC Fund predictable, assured and adequate. However, no conclusive decision could be arrived at on this difficult issue. Regarding the assessed programme costs, we have always been of the view that without any exception, recipient States should pay at least the minimum assessed programme costs for it is only a fraction of the benefit that accrues to them.


We would like to underscore that the prime issue was that all Member States should pledge and pay in full, especially the major donor countries. Instead, we see a widening gap between pledges and actual contributions. We on our part always pledge in full and pay in time. Although the contribution to the TC has been regarded as voluntary, it is based on the Resolution passed by the General Conference of the IAEA. To this extent, TC Funding should be regarded as morally obligatory if not mandatory. There is the need for the Agency to orient its TC programmes in such a way as to promote self-reliance among developing countries rather than reliance on developed countries. We had called on the Agency to identify centres of excellence for human resources development under the Technical Co-operation for Developing Countries (TCDC) programme and had offered our training facilities to scientists and engineers from developing countries. In this regard, in a signal event this year the DAE signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the IAEA for co-operation in connection with the Agency’s regional and interregional training events, individual and group fellowships training programmes carried out as part of the Technical Co-operation activities of the IAEA. The MoU is an important milestone in our relationship with the IAEA and formalises our long standing offer to make the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) a "centre of excellence/Regional Resource Unit (RRU)" under the Agency’s Technical Co-operation for Developing Countries (TCDC) programme.


The Safeguards Department has indicated that new measures such as remote monitoring and satellite transmission under the Model Additional Protocol are not expected to reduce costs. Indeed, costs are likely to go up, at least in the short term, as a result of more countries adhering to the Model Additional Protocol and the increased verification demands. The "bulge" in safeguards expenditures was expected to ease off and later reduce once the integrated safeguards system along with the Additional Protocol was implemented by the Agency. However, the Safeguards Department has indicated now that actual efficiencies and streamlining of safeguards following the implementation of integrated safeguards needed to be studied to determine the future trends and there is no certainty of any reduction in costs on the contrary, costs are likely to increase.


Under the auspices of IAEA, several mechanisms currently exist for facilitating information exchange and cooperative R & D activities, among interested Member States, in areas relating to peaceful applications of nuclear energy. It has often been felt that the existing mechanisms have some limitations, particularly those linked to inadequate funding, which restrain a desirable expansion in the reach, range and volume of such programmes. This is evident from the fact that several recommendations made in various IAEA symposia, AGMs, Consultants’ Meetings , etc. cannot be expeditiously followed up by the Agency on account of budgetary constraints.


There is need to see implementation of safeguards an improvement in quality in the We need to examine whether the present system of safeguards is the best that we can devise. Much has changed in technology since 1971 when the new inspection regime was put in place. This should be reflected in the quality and quantity of inspection effort, with corresponding reductions in cost. The argument that increases in safeguards need to be accommodated automatically because these are mandatory requirements under agreements as required under the NPT brings into question the differences between statutory activities and mandatory activities. With promotion being the prime statutory aim of the IAEA, we wonder why only 5.9% of the budget goes for an important activity like nuclear power. On the other hand, there seems to be no holding back of resources for safeguards activities, with a call now for the extra-budgetary contribution also to be incorporated into the regular budget. Such actions would further hurt promotional activities.


We reiterate our appreciation of the Agency’s efforts in preventing illicit trafficking in nuclear materials. Yet, in our neighborhood, clandestine acquisition of sensitive technology and materials is known to have occurred. Preventing this requires the commitment of Member States of the Agency. Both on the issue of physical protection measures and export controls, India follows a stringent law - based system which is borne out by its exemplary record.


The stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, in the custody of those who were the first to build up such deadly arsenals, remain at alarmingly high levels. Our own policy is based on responsibility and restraint and we continue to press with undiminished commitment for universal, verifiable nuclear disarmament, even while safeguarding our strategic space and autonomy in decision-making. International peace cannot be divorced from the need for equal and legitimate security for all.


Scientifically speaking, we move into the new millennium in 2001. The new century must cause us to pause, to rethink our strategies and to examine our options. We need a fresh look at the importance of nuclear power. We need to shake off the fetters of prejudices and apprehensions that have led to public fears of this very important, indeed crucial technology. The concerns about nuclear power stem primarily from fears about safety of reactors and concerns over management of long-lived radioactive wastes. These worries are exaggerated , since technological solutions are available for addressing both these issues. Let us pool our collective wisdom and scientific knowledge and work together-to address the challenges of global development through deployment of nuclear technologies overcoming the barriers that come in the way.


Thank you, Mr. President.


ECIL’s EC-Informatics


The Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) a Public Sector undertaking of DAE was incorporated in April 1967. As a leading player in the Indian Electronics Industry, ECIL has successfully achieved its Primary objective of self-reliance by constantly providing state-of-the-art solutions to the emerging markets.


The Software and Consultancy Division (SCD) of ECIL EC - Informatics was set up in 1992 to draw upon the software strengths of various business groups of ECIL specializing in diverse fields of Information Technology, Control Systems and Communications. Some of the major markets addressed for the developments of Software Solutions are Energy, Banking and Insurance, Manufacturing, Telecom, Health Care, Railways, Steel and Transportation.


The EC - Informatics has necessary software skills that span all the present and potential sectors of business endeavor for improving productivity, quality of life and economic value addition. These skills are harnessed to offer integrated solutions built around different types of hardware platforms and software technologies.


ECIL has more than 1500 installations wherein EC - Informatics has supplied application solutions. In the process, EC informatics has developed a large number of applications for many customers such as insurance companies, banks, electricity undertakings, core industry like power, cement, steel & coal, engineering industry, oil, chemicals and fertilizers industries, government departments, data processing for a variety of financial online applications and image processing applications for signature, photo retrieval and fingerprint analysis.


Apart from information processing, EC-Informatics, has been a major supplier of turnkey projects in the real time applications like DAS (Data Acquisition Systems), SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) Systems, Distributed Digital Control System, Turbo-Supervisory Systems, Power Plant Training Simulators, Telesupervisory System, Programmable Logic Controllers, SFMSS (Store & Forward Message Switching systems), OMC (Operation & Maintenance Control) System, SPC (Stored Program Control) Telex Switching systems, MRS (Message Retransmission System). EC-Informatics team has the largest pool of software engineers with wide and in-depth domain knowledge of varied customer environment.


EC-Informatics plays an effective key role in most of these applications in an effective way for connecting and inter-operating various sub-systems/systems based on multiple technologies.


Technical manpower with diverse skills sets is the major asset at ECIL for offering total solutions in various sectors and successful execution of projects. Software strengths built and nurtured over the years range from assembler and compiler design, real time Operating Systems to database systems to internet and web.


In the process of executing such large complex projects and developing technologically sophisticated products, domain knowledge of the processes in sectors has been acquired to build product development skills.


ECIL’s commitment to Quality is evidenced by the ISO 9001 Certification received for design, development, testing, implementation and maintenance of software.


Technical resources available across the business groups are fully equipped to take up project assignments at the client site.


EC-Informatics has entered into strategic relationships with International IT companies such as IBM, Microsoft and ORACLE.It has a rich experience and wide exposure in the areas ranging from the legacy systems to client/server technologies to the evolving component technology.


Through its technological base and project management capabilities over 3 decades EC-Informatics has been able to design, develop, manufacture, install and maintain various products and systems in the following fields of:

  1. Computer and Information Technology: Including development of special software packages for vital sectors like banking, insurance, communications and energy management.
  2. Communications: Digital transmission products, radio communication products, antenna products and satcom products meeting the challenging requirements of customers.
  3. Strategic Electronics: Meeting the challenging requirements of defence forces.
  4. Automation & Controls: In the core sectors of power, steel, oil and gas, process industry and transportation.
  5. Instrumentation: Meeting the present day recruitment in the areas of medical, industrial, analytical and security.

Further details can be had from:

The Head, SCD, EC-Informatics,
Electronics Corporation of India Limited,
Block B-3, Second Floor, HUDA complex, Talnaka,
Hyderabad - 500 007andhra Pradesh
Phone No.: +91-40-7121713, 7120671
Fax: +91-40-7121713


BARC Transfers Technology Of Triode Sputter Ion Pumps


Technology Transfer & Collaboration Division, BARC, has transferred the technology of Triode Sputter ion Pumps (TSIP) developed by Technical Physics & Prototype Engineering Division (TP & PED), BARC, to M/s Kamal Engineering Works, Mumbai, at a transfer fee of Rs 2.5 lakhs.


TSIPs are used to create Ultra High Vacuum (UHV) in charged particle accelerators, surface analytical spectrometers, mass spectrometers, etc. This technology is for the manufacture of 35, 70, 140 and 270 LPS capacity pumps. These pumps provide very clean operation and have no moving parts or pumping fluids. The operating pressure range is 10-3 to 10-10 Torr.


17th DAE - Safety Professionals’ Meet


The 17th DAE-Safety Professionals Meet held at IGCAR, Kalpakkam during October 16-18, 2000, was jointly organized by AERB, IGCAR, MAPS and BARC-Facilities at Kalpakkam. The theme of this year’s seminar was "Role of Training, Awareness and Promotional Campaigns in improving Safety Performance".


During the inaugural session, Dr. Placid Rodriguez, Director, IGCAR welcomed the delegates and invitees of the meet. Prof. P. Rama Rao, Vice Chancellor, University of Hyderabad & Former Chairman, AERB, inaugurated the meet. Shri. G. R. Srinivasan, Chairman, SARCOP, AERB gave the introductory address in which he explained the brief history of the previous meets and the resulting improvement in the safety culture of the DAE units. Prof. S. P. Sukhatme, Chairman, AERB gave the presidential address and presented AERB Annual Report. He informed that during this year DAE achieved the lowest injury index of 0.03. He said that even though, DAE’s safety record is very much within the internationally allowable limits, its own benchmarks must be set. He emphasized that efforts should be made to have more control over accidents to contract workers. He invited feedbacks from DAE units for strengthening regulations to have more effective control over contract workers. He also gave away Fire Safety awards, Green Site awards and best logo awards to the winners. Prof. P. Rama Rao, delivered a very informative and thought provoking endowment lecture on " Understanding Technology: Relationship between Technology, Science and Social Sciences". He quoted Freeman Dyson – " Technology is gods second most important gift, next only to life" and went on explaining the development of technology since time immemorial. He explained how technology could be an instrument for our growth & national security. He put forth the concept of 'Borderless Science' for our technological and social development. He pointed out the need to have more and better qualified persons engaged in the R & D activities as well as a quantum increase in the investment towards R & D activities by the industry as a whole. Prof. Rama Rao also inaugurated an Exhibition on Safety equipment and books on this occasion.


On the first day of the meet, eminent speakers delivered invited talks on the Safety and occupational health aspects. Giving due importance to the occupational health of the industrial workers, for the past few years, Medical professionals are also participating in the meet.


During the entire meet, interactive sessions were held and experiences were shared between the regulatory authorities and units and also between the different units of DAE. Analysis of accidents in DAE units was presented by AERB and discussed during the meet to further improve the safety culture.


The benefits of these meets are reflected in the improvement of safety statistics in all the units of DAE. Over the years, regulatory authorities in coordination with the units of DAE has developed strong safety culture. One mundane definition of safety culture is "a person or an organization doing the right thing when nobody is looking at him or it". One important element of this safety management was picked up as the theme of the seminar. During the meet, discussions were held on the improvement of safety culture by applying behavior-based approach to safety. This speaks about the high level of importance given to safety during the meet.


Arun Srivastava


IGCAR’s New Director



Shri S. B. Bhoje, Director Reactor Group, IGCAR, has taken over as Director, Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research.


Born in Kasaba-Sangaon (Maharashtra) on April 9, 1942, Shri Bhoje holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) degree from Pune University.


Shri Bhoje, who is from the 9th batch of BARC Training School, joined the Fast Reactor Section at BARC (August 1967) and became the Section Head of the Reactor Assembly of FBTR design in June 1970. This post he held till 1984, even after the Section was transferred to IGCAR.


He was appointed as the Head, Nuclear Systems Division (NSD) (September 1985) and later the Head, Reactor Operation Division and Station Superintendent of FBTR (March 1989). In December, 1992, Shri Bhoje was elevated to the post of the Director, Reactor Group, IGCAR. The other assignments of Shri Bhoje include: Member-Secretary, Working Group for 500 MWe Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) for preparation of preliminary design report and feasibility report, Chairman of the Sub-Committee constituted by DAE-Safety Review Committee, for preparation of Safety Criteria for PFBR and Member-International Working Group on Fast Reactors (IWGFR) of IAEA. He was deputed on 20 occasions to attend International Seminars, Conferences and on bilateral co-operation in various countries.


A Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering, Shri Bhoje is a recipient of the VASVIK Award-1992 in the field of Mechanical Sciences and Technology. He has published over 150 papers on various aspects of Fast Breeder Reactor.


Director, BARC Felicitated


Dr. Anil Kakodkar, Director, BARC, was conferred the Golden Jubilee Award by the Shriram Scientific and Industrial Research Foundation, New Delhi on August 11, 2000. While conferring the award, Dr. Kakodkar was lauded for his endeavor in the field of reactor technology, new reactor concepts, national security through Pokhran-l and Pokhran-ll nuclear tests and applications of nuclear energy in various sectors. In the citation of the award, a special mention was made about his contributions to the repair technology and aging research on existing pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWRs) and his innovative design of new reactor systems like Advanced Heavy Water Reactors (AHWRs).


"Our technology strength derives from the strong foundation of Research and Development which we have laid over the years…."*


As we celebrate the 91st birthday of our Founder, we can confidently say that Homi Bhabha’s vision has come true. We are totally self-reliant in the design and construction of pressurized Heavy Water Reactors. The average Plant Load Factor (PLF) of our Nuclear Power Plants was 80% last year and this has been maintained for the first six months of the current year. These PLFs are good by international standards.


Since September 1999, three new reactors have been connected to the grid. The second unit at Kaiga was connected to the grid earlier this month in a record time of 16 days after criticality. This record may be bettered when RAPP-4 achieves criticality in the next few days.


After successful operation of the Fast Breeder Test Reactor, the technology development for the indigenously-designed 500 MWe Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor is in full swing in India’s major industrial companies like BHEL. In the last couple of weeks, on behalf of the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, I have accepted two excellently fabricated major prototype components - the steam generator reheater from Larsen & Toubro Ltd. and the Safety and Control Rod Drive Mechanism from MTAR Technologies, Hyderabad.


The work on the twin 500 MWe PHWR units is in full swing at Tarapur for the last two years.


The Advanced Heavy Water Reactor - designed by BARC and which uses both plutonium and thorium - has moved into the technology development phase.


The preparation of the Detailed Project Report of the two Advanced Light Water Reactors VVER-1000 being built at Kudankulam with Russian technical co-operation, is in progress and construction should start in a year or so. We aim to indigenize LWR (light water reactor) technology in the future as we have done in the case of PHWR technology. The Central Government - which is strongly supporting the nuclear programme - has recently decided to give "mega project" status for projects in the nuclear power sector, starting from 440 MWe which will bring down the capital cost of all our nuclear power projects. NPCIL is also trying to bring down the gestation period of construction of Nuclear Power Plants.


The Nuclear Fuel Complex exceeded its target last year for the production of fuel and structural components, while reducing the energy consumption per kilogram of fuel fabrication. A couple of months back it reached a major milestone by manufacturing the 2,00,000th bundle of PHWR fuel.


The Heavy Water Board has, by streamlining its manufacturing processes, ensured lower production costs while enhancing quality and productivity at the same time. All these will have a major impact on the unit cost of nuclear electricity and this is good as we move into the future where nuclear energy will be the inevitable option to satisfy our energy needs. This is true not only for India but for all countries. Even in countries which are currently seeing a slowdown in their nuclear power development programme, it is likely that a reversal would occur due to two factors - firstly, due to a substantial increase in oil prices as is happening now and, secondly, due to the possibility of the global warming phenomenon caused by greenhouse gases becoming more serious. We are aiming for a nuclear installed capacity of 20,000 MWe by 2020, this is an achievable target with a mix of PHWRs, FBRs and LWRs and reflects a doubling time of about 7 years.


Our technology strength derives from the strong foundation of Research and Development which we have laid over the years. This goes beyond our Nuclear Power Programme. It goes beyond our Research Reactor Programme - which also gives us a hundred varieties of isotopes used extensively in medicine, industry and agriculture. It has enabled us to design and build accelerators both for basic research and for applications. Currently we are building at CAT, Indore, the second Synchrotron Radiation Source INDUS-2, which will be a 2500 million electron-volt electron storage ring giving hard X-ray radiation, after completing the first Source INDUS-1, we are building a superconducting magnet cyclotron at VECC, Calcutta. We are also building smaller electron accelerators which can be used for food preservation and for industrial and scientific applications. The Institute of Plasma Research - a DAE-aided institution - is designing and building a Steady-State Tokamak for thermonuclear fusion research. CAT, Indore, is building a variety of powerful laser systems for various scientific, medical and industrial applications. In developing all these systems, the DAE programme has also acted as a catalyst for other high technology developments in the country.


Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee declared more than two years back that India is now a Nuclear Weapon State. The five carefully-planned and completely successful nuclear weapon tests we carried out in Pokhran in May 1998 and the confirmation of the design yields by seismic, radiochemical and other studies carried out by BARC, gave us the capability to design and fabricate nuclear weapons of yields from low-yields up to around 200 kilotons. That was in May 1998 and a great deal of scientific and technological development has taken place since then. Nuclear Weapon technology is not one technology, but is a mixture of many scientific disciplines and technologies and we have some of the world’s leading experts in each of these — thanks to the vast multi-disciplinary capabilities which DAE has built up deliberately and with forethought over the years.


This has happened not just in the nuclear weapon area. I had talked earlier about Nuclear Power, Research Reactor applications, Accelerators and Lasers. In all these areas or take at random any other field, materials science or mathematics, molecular biology or gamma-ray stronomy, superconductivity or parallel computing, radiation safety or nuclear agriculture, robotics or nuclear waste immobilization, or — going in some detail, gene therapy in cancer or string theory in high energy physics, density functional methods in condensed matter physics or solvent extraction methods in chemical engineering, we have some of the world’s leading experts.


And this is recognized world-wide in the nuclear field, we are considered internationally a "developed" rather than a "developing" country. India is a founder-member of the International Atomic Energy Agency where we are now a technical assistance - giver, not a taker. A large number of scientists from developing countries are trained in DAE every year. We are cooperating with Russia in peaceful applications of nuclear energy. President Putin’s visit to BARC earlier this month is indicative both of the rapidly increasing momentum in our nuclear power sector and of our growing co-operation with Russia in this area. We are contributing some hi-tech components to the Large Hadron Collider - which will be the most powerful accelerator in the world - being built in the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva. Today’s India should go for international co-operation in high technology areas on an ‘equal-partner’ basis, as in the CERN project. I define Self-Reliance today not as self-sufficiency but as immunity against technology denial. We must also increase our Synergy with the University System and with the rest of the S & T System in the country and make careers in Science and Technology attractive to young people.


In conclusion, let me say that Indians in India and Indians abroad look at the work done by the Department of Atomic Energy with pride. DAE is, however, not just Research and Projects. DAE is people - scientists, technologists, technical staff, administrators, supporting staff, even those who have left DAE because as I say: "Once a DAE person, always a DAE person". We all have the responsibility of preserving the nuclear heritage that has been built up over the years and to enlarge it in the future. That would be the homage we pay to Homi Bhabha.


Thank you, Jai Hind!


All the 9th Plan


* Excerpts:Founder’s Day speech of Dr. R Chidambaram, Chairman, AEC on October 30, 2000.


"All the 9th Plan projects are progressing well and we now have a system of coordinated follow up involving interactive working of a large number of individuals...." *


This year has been yet another very successful year in our march to make India technologically strong through our own research and development efforts in nuclear science, technology and engineering.


Our research reactors Dhruva and Apsara have been efficiently utilized in support of our programmes. ... Refurbishment of CIRUS is progressing well and we hope to bring CIRUS on line soon. All Reprocessing Plants are working well. Waste Immobilization Plant at Trombay is about to be commissioned.


R & D on power reactor front further progressed towards greater deployment and further development of coolant channel life management and repair technologies.


Thorium. utilization has been the most important long term objective of our programme. ...While detailed design and development of Advanced Heavy Water Reactor is making rapid progress and facility for separation of U233 from irradiated thorium is under commissioning trials, work on critical facility for AHWR has picked up.


While mixed carbide UC-PuC fuel developed for FBTR has continued to perform well exceeding the 50,000 Mwd/Te mark, some mixed oxide UO2 - PuO2 fuel bundles loaded in TAPS have completed their three irradiation cycle satisfactorily.


Post-test investigations following May’98 nuclear tests are now nearly complete. As you know, these have confirmed that all objectives of the tests have been fully met.


Work on setting up of POTON, a facility for radiation processing of onions and other food products is progressing rapidly and the facility is likely to be commissioned early next year. POTON, along with Spice Irradiator, recently cornmissioned by BRIT at Vashi, Navi Mumbai, would provide demonstration over a full range of dose levels for various food processing applications on an industrial scale. ... Industrial Electron Accelerators are gaining importance for a variety of industrial processing applications Very soon, we will be in a position to offer the 500 KV and 2 MV accelerators for industrial demonstration runs at Vashi.


On the nuclear agriculture front, research efforts have led to a new black gram variety TU-94-2 with 35% more yield and resistance to yellow mosaic virus as well as a high yielding soybean variety TAMS-38. Both these varieties have been released recently. I wish to recognize at this stage our extensive collaborative research efforts with several Agricultural Universities in the country. ... On the health front, we now have the FDA approval for use of BARC developed radiation processed hydro-gel for human burn injury treatment. This hydro-gel has shown excellent results at 3 hospitals, in Mumbai.


ANUPAM series Parallel Processing Systems have now reached a large number of institutions. ... Development of a 64 node system, which is expected to deliver about 25 Giga Flop performance, is now under way.


To support basic research activities, an indigenously built Folded Tandem Ion Accelerator (FOTIA) capable of delivering heavy ion beams up to A~40 and beam energy up to 66 MeV with a maximum terminal voltage of 6 MV has been successfully commissioned.


All the 9th Plan projects are progressing well and we now have a system of co-ordinated follow up involving interactive working of a large number of individuals. On the basis of strength that we built up over the years, I have no doubt that all of us would succeed in our missions through our interactive support to each other’s activities.


(* Excerpts from the Founder’s Day Address by Dr. Anil Kakodkar, Director, BARC, 30 October, 2000.)


Radiation Processing of Food -An Update


Thirty years of research and development work at the Food Technology Division, BARC, has demonstrated that radiation processing of foods can contribute to nation’s food security by reducing post-harvest losses caused by insect infestation, microbial spoilage and physiological changes.


The technology has commercial potential for conservation of cereals, pulses and their products, spices, onions, potatoes, garlic, some tropical fruits, sea foods, meat and poultry.


Irradiation can ensure hygienic quality in foods including frozen foods by eliminating food borne pathogens and parasitic organisms.


It offers a viable environment friendly alternative to chemical fumigants for quarantine treatment against insect pests in agricultural and horticultural products entering international trade.


The safety and nutritional adequacy of irradiated foods for human consumption is well established.


About 41 countries including India have regulations permitting irradiation of foods and 28 countries are irradiating foods for processing industries and institutional catering.


Initiatives on Commercialization of Radiation Processing


The first commercial demonstration plant for radiation processing of spices with an initial throughput of 20 tons/day has become operational in Navi Mumbai. This plant has been set up by the Board of Radiation and Isotope Technology (BRIT), a constituent unit of DAE.


Work on the commercial demonstration irradiator designed by BARC for the treatment of onions with a processing capacity of 10 t/hr has commenced in Lasalgaon. Nasik District, Maharashtra.


Clearances for Radiation Processed foods


The Government of India have permitted radiation processing of the following food items for domestic marketing and consumption.


Clearances for radiation processing of sea foods and pulses for domestic consumption are under the consideration of Government or India and approval is expected shortly.


Food item Irradiation dose (kGy) Purpose
Minimum Maximum
Onions 0.03 0.09 Sprout inhibition
Potatoes 0.06 0.15 Sprout inhibition
Shallots (Small onions) garlic, ginger  0.03 0.15 Sprout inhibition
Rice, sermolina (sooji or rawa), atta (wheat flour) and maida (refined wheat flour) 0.25 1.0 Insect disinfestation
Raisins, dried figs and dates 0.25 0.75 Insect disinfestation
Mango 0.25 8.75 Shelf-life extension and
Spices  6.0 14.0 Microbial decontamination
Meat and meat products including chicken 2.5 4.0  Shelf-life extension and pathogen control


Legislation and Procedures for Establishing a Commercial Food Irradiation Facility


National Monitoring Agency (NMA)


To oversee all aspects of commercial food irradiation in the country the Government of India have constituted a National Monitoring Agency under the Chairmanship of Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.


Application for clearance for irradiation of specific food items are initially examined by Expert Group on Food Irradiation constituted by NMA. The recommendations of this Expert Group are further considered by NMA and subsequently by the Central Committee for Food Standards (CCFS) for approval. The food items approved for radiation processing are notified in the Gazette of India as an amendment to the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 and Rules 1955.


Regulations on Food Irradiation


The construction and operation of a food irradiation facility for commercial purposes is governed by the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act 1954 and Rules 1955 and the Atomic Energy (Control of Irradiation of Food) Rules 1996, under the Atomic Energy Act, 1962.


Atomic Energy (Control of Irradiation of Food) Rules 1996 published in the Gazette of India, June, 1996 provides the Government statutory Rules for the authorization and licensing of irradiation facilities for the treatment of foods and procedures for obtaining certificate of approval from the competent authority (Atomic Energy Regulatory Board) and license for a food irradiation facility from the licensing authority (Department of Atomic Energy, Central Government). It also stipulates qualifications of personnel such as Operators of irradiation facility, Radiological Safety Officer and Quality Control Officer.


Further information can be had from:

Head, Food Technology Division,
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre,
Trombay, Mumbai - 400085
Phone No.: 022-5505180
Fax: 022-5505151/5519613


Twelfth All India Essay Contest in Nuclear Science and Technology


DAE organized the 12th All India essay Contest on Nuclear Science and Technology for undergraduate students. The topics for the contest were:

  1. Role of Nuclear Power in India’s Long Term Energy Needs.
  2. Non Power Applications of Nuclear Energy.

Participants of the Essay Contest with the Chairman, AEC.


One of the recipients of the prize for essay contest.


A total of 477 essays in eleven languages were received. The authors of the top thirty essays were invited to Mumbai to make oral presentations. The top three prize winners in each topic were selected based on the combined performance in the written and oral versions. The prizes were given away by Dr. R Chidambaram, Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission on Founder’s Day (October 30).


Following were the prize winners.


Topic 1:

First prize: Shri Prashant Das, a first year engineering student of the Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, Karnataka.

Second prize: Shri Roohshad Mistry, a final year engineering student of the Walchand Institute of Technology, Solapur.

Third prize: Shri Guru B Swamy, a third year BSc student of Kuvempu University, Shimoga.


Topic 2:

First prize: Shri Raghubir Singh Chauhan, a third year BSc student from Jai Narain Vyas University, Jodhpur.

Second prize: Kum Gauri Jha, a second year BSc student of the Patna Women’s College, Patna.

Third prize: Shri K. G. Dhinakar, a third year BSc student of Aditanar College of Arts and Science, Thiruchendur.


The remaining 24 students were awarded consolation prizes.


As a part of the program, the students were shown various facilities at BARC, Kakrapar Atomic Power Station at Gujarat and the BRIT complex at Navi-Mumbai.


The students unanimously felt that this opportunity had opened out new vistas with respect to their career pursuits and hoped to be a part of the DAE family in the near future.


Publicity Division, DAE