Nuclear India

Published by the
Department of Atomic Energy
Government of India
Vol. 35/No. 3-4/Sep-Oct 2001



Seminar on Atomic Energy & Societal Development:


The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) organized a one day seminar in Hindi on "Atomic Energy & Societal Development" on September 5, 2001 in New Delhi. While inaugurating the seminar, Dr. D. N. Tiwari, Member, Planning Commission appreciated the various programmes and achievements of DAE and said that the work done by DAE in various sectors for societal development needs to reach to the general public on mass scale. Dr. Tiwari emphasised on the need to make available adequate financial resources so that the technologies developed by the department can be commercialized in a big way. He said that the target of achieving an installed capacity of 20,000 MWe by the year 2020 can be achieved as early as 2010 provided the required funds and other resources are made available.



The inaugural function was presided over by Dr. Anil Kakodkar, Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission. In his address he said that for the success of an agency pursuing hitech areas like DAE, a synergy between science and technology is very important along with an organic linkage between the laboratory developing the technology and the industry receiving the technology. He appreciated that DAE is an organisation incorporating research centres and closely linked industrial units and provides conditions for fulfilling both the foregoing requisites. This approach has been a crucial factor in building a self-reliant capability in all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle and also in sectors such as agriculture, food preservation industry, water management, etc. He also stressed that we have to retain and strengthen our ability to carry forward with further domestic developments so as to remain immune from technology denial regimes.


The talks related to the theme of the symposium, delivered by the senior scientists from DAE organizations, projected contributions of DAE in the fields of power generation, agriculture, health, industry, desalination and others the sectors crucial to the societal development.


Public Awareness Division, DAE


Good Performance of NPCIL during the year 2000-2001:


The year 2000-2001 was a major milestone in the history of NPCIL. It was for the first time that four nuclear units began commercial operations in the same year. NPCIL has performed well during the year 2000-2001 and has achieved an average annual capacity factor of 82.46% the highest so far. The Atomic Power Stations of NPCIL generated 16,696 MUs, against the target of 12158 MUs, which is about 37% above the target. Also, Kakrapar Atomic Power Station has achieved the highest capacity factor (CF) of 91% for any station.


During the year, NPCIL has achieved an increase in its turnover: From Rs. 2110.99 crore during the last financial year to Rs 3225.89 crore this year. The profit (before prior period adjustment and tax) during the year 2000-01 was Rs 1122.59 crore, which is higher than the last financial year. This was possible mainly because of the good performance of its nuclear power plants.


NPCIL continued to be rated ‘AAA’ by CRISIL and CARE.


The pace of construction activities of the two units at Tarapur has been accelerated. The criticality of these units is rescheduled in 2005/2006. To optimize resources the two 500 MWe units have been re-rated to 540 MWe.


The techno-commercial offer for setting up of two units of VVER type reactors, at Kudankulam with Russian collaboration has been negotiated and contracts for the same are expected to be signed shortly. Pre-project activities and work on setting up of infrastructure for the project are progressing fast.


The Government of India has accorded project financial sanction in May 2001 for setting-up two units each of 220 MWe at Kaiga (Units-3&4).


The radiation doses from the plants remained well below the permissible limits stipulated by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB).


NPCIL continued social-welfare activities in the localities of its plants.


".... A closed-nuclear fuel cycle, which involves reprocessing and recycles of fissile materials, is central to our nuclear policy. Incidentally, this also facilitates a logical answer to management of long-term waste issue...." *



Mr. President,


As I address the IAEA General Conference for the first time, may I begin by congratulating you on your election as President and wishing you well in guiding the General Conference to a meaningful conclusion. I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome the entry of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Botswana to the membership of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).


I also offer my felicitations to Dr. Mohamed Elbaradei on his reappointment as the Director General. The unanimous decision to reappoint him is a testimony to his leadership skills. We extend our good wishes to him and assure him of our continued support.


Mr. President, the Government and the people of India were shocked and appalled by the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington last week. As the Prime Minister of India Mr. A. B. Vajpayee said in a message to the President of the United States



"This dark hour is a stark and terrible reminder of the power and the reach of the terrorists to destroy innocent lives and challenge the civilised order in this world. It sends a strong message to democracies to redouble our efforts to defeat this great threat to our people, our values and our way of life.


Mr. President, I am confident that you and the American people will find the strength and resilience to overcome this tragedy. We stand ready to cooperate with you in the investigations into this crime and to strengthen our partnership in leading international efforts to ensure that terrorism never succeeds again".


Mr. President, access to affordable energy in a sustainable manner for the vast majority of the developing world is still an issue eluding solution. In spite of the Agency programme on small and medium nuclear power reactors that has been running for decades now, nuclear energy deployment in the developing world where energy is needed most still appears a distant objective. We have the unusual situation of saturation in the electricity needs in many industrialized countries which have the capability in nuclear power technology, while at the same time the developing countries, for one reason or another, are unable to access nuclear power.


Against the backdrop of this global scenario the situation in some of the Asian countries certainly in India, stands out in sharp contrast. These are the countries with growing energy demand and at the same time with significant industrialization already in place. These countries have acquired the necessary empowerment to pursue nuclear power technology to meet their energy needs. From a general perspective assuming that all of us as part of the global community wish to bridge the energy divide to the maximum extent an inevitable condition that must be met for all of us to live in peace, I see no alternative to large scale deployment of nuclear energy. Several studies have confirmed such a conclusion. There are of course studies that do not support such a conclusion, but these studies count on the inability of developing countries to access energy sources either due to lack of financial strength or the psychological fear on their part in the matter of nuclear power.


We are gratified to note that the Commission on Sustainable Development recognized the value of nuclear energy in the context of sustainable development and agreed that the choice to use appropriate energy sources should be left to the countries concerned. The nuclear option however, suffered a psychological setback at the Bonn meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change when it was decided that developed countries are to refrain from using certified emission reductions generated from nuclear facilities to meet their commitments under the Kyoto Protocol. It is ironical that an energy source that is devoid of the danger of green house gas emissions should be discouraged by a body that is most concerned with the reduction of green house gas emissions. We would like to commend the role of the IAEA Secretariat in New York as well as in Bonn where it acted principally as an information source, by distributing fact sheets on Nuclear Power and sustainable development organizing side events and presenting case studies all of which made considerable impact.


In this context I would like to commend the Agency for bringing out a useful document? Nuclear Technology Review", before the Board for discussion. The review has cited studies conducted by prestigious organizations, which indicate the inevitability of nuclear energy on a long-term basis. Their analyses of various energy scenarios reveal that nuclear energy forms an important component in the energy mix and that it will be one of top sources of electricity in the future. It may be recalled that six new nuclear power reactors were connected to the grid last year. Construction continued on thirty one more power reactors. There are activities programmed in many Member States that clearly indicate the revival of nuclear energy.


Mr. President, we should recognize the reality that nuclear power will continue to play an important role in meeting the energy needs of the world and that there is an imperative need to eliminate through innovation and improvement the remaining concerns about nuclear power generation. Thus, we need technological solutions not only to address economical generation of nuclear power but also to address the question of safety, sustainability, proliferation resistance and long-term waste management. We believe that there are several possibilities by way of technological solutions, which would simultaneously address all these issues. The development of the Advanced Heavy Water Reactor in India is our first step in this direction. It is in this context that the initiative of IAEA to launch the International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles (INPRO) is not only highly laudable but is worthy of our strong support and participation. Programmes like this, if well supported would produce results not only in terms of greater deployment of nuclear power but also be a more effective approach towards enhancing safety worldwide with no fear of proliferation. Thus, we strongly advocate better budgetary support to such programmes, which simultaneously address the long-term objectives of IAEA programmes in nuclear energy, nuclear safety and safeguards. At this moment however, INPRO is being funded by extra budgetary support, a situation far from satisfactory. We on our part are actively participating in this vital programme including by way of providing cost free expertise. We hope it would be possible for this programme to be made a part of the regular budget of the Agency with adequate support. We feel that this is the most cost effective strategy that could meet the statutory mandate of the IAEA in the long run without losing the balance between the promotional and safeguards activities of the Agency.


Synergy between various international organizations in the field of nuclear energy is clearly desirable. It is however important to recognise that technological empowerment and access to benefits of research take place through actual participation. This is a more effective way in comparison to delivery of a black box product. We would like to see growing opportunities for such participation for interested Member States of the IAEA.


In a similar manner, the co-ordinated research activities are of paramount importance for they facilitate sharing of research work for mutual benefit and are essential for the success of any technology transfer. We are glad to note that the Agency has invited a panel of international experts for the evaluation of the Agency’s Coordinated Research Projects.


As far as India is concerned, our modest uranium resources have been a key determinant in the shape that our nuclear power programme has taken. A closed nuclear fuel cycle, which involves reprocessing and recycles of fissile materials, is central to our nuclear policy. Incidentally, this also facilitates a logical answer to management of long-term waste issue. Since our thorium reserves are five to six times larger than our uranium reserves, thorium utilization for large scale energy production is an important long-term goal of our nuclear power programme.


In the year 2000, four 220 MWe PHWR Units commenced commercial operation, thus adding 880 MWe to the total capacity. Our power reactors are also maintaining high capacity factors of around 82%. At present our nuclear power capacity is 2720 MWe with 14 units under operation. In the next ten years it is envisaged that a total nuclear power capacity of about 10,000 MWe would be realised. As part of the policy of assuring a sound environmental management system, four of the stations i.e. at Tarapur, Narora, Kakrapar and Kalpakkam have obtained the Environmental Management System (EMS) certification as per ISO 14001. The power programme was matched by excellent performance by the support base i.e. our Heavy Water Plants registered a substantial reduction in energy consumption resulting in reduced production costs while maintaining an excellent safety record similarly, the Nuclear Fuel Complex exceeded its target production for the third successive year. Our fast breeder reactor programme is on course and the unique mixed-carbide fuel used in the Fast Breeder Test Reactor at Kalpakkam has reached a burn-up of 72,000 MWd/t without any fuel failure. The design of the 500 MWe sodium cooled pool type Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) is nearing completion and is undergoing the safety review by the regulatory authorities which have approved the site to install the PFBR. We expect to be able to commence construction of PFBR soon. The detailed design and development of the Uranium-233 and plutonium fuelled Advanced Heavy Water Reactor (AHWR) continued at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). A new critical facility is also being set up at BARC for validating the reactor physics aspect of the core design of AHWR.


Research and development in fusion technology continue. At the Institute for Plasma Research, Gandhinagar, work on setting up of the super conducting steady state tokamak, the SST-1 is in progress and the actual erection of SST-1 is expected to commence by the end of this year. As stated in the past, I would like to reiterate our interest in participating on the basis of our experience in international efforts towards the development of fusion power.


Self-reliance continues to be the guiding principle of our nuclear programme which is now firmly in place and would continue to grow on the basis of domestic strengths. However, in order to increase the share of nuclear power rapidly additionality through the import of Light Water Reactor (LWR) technology has been envisaged in our programme. LWRs are not new to us since India’s first nuclear power station the Tarapur Atomic Power Station (TAPS) near Mumbai consists of two BWRs which continue to operate extremely well. We are now in the process of setting up two 1000 MWe VVERs in collaboration with the Russian Federation. Consistent with our policy, these reactors will also be placed under the facility specific safeguards of the IAEA. The same would apply to other similar plants established through imports in the future.


While nuclear power is a major component of our R&D activities, India continues to lay emphasis on applied research in the use of atomic energy in non-power areas such as health, agriculture, food processing, water and industry. A nuclear desalination demonstration plant using multistage flash distillation and reverse osmosis process is being set up by BARC at Kalpakkam. This plant will demonstrate the feasibility of coupling a desalination plant with a nuclear reactor. Construction activities are progressing well and are expected to be completed by March 2002. The demonstration plant of the Board of Radiation and Isotope Technology (BRIT) for radiation processing of spices near Mumbai is now in regular operation. The POTON plant for treating onions and other food items being set up in Nasik in Western India is nearing completion. BRIT has successfully developed a blood irradiator using cobalt-60 and the first unit has been commissioned at the regional center located at Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology at Bangalore. The 2 MeV electron beam accelerator, ILU-6, has been now relocated at Navi Mumbai to facilitate easy access to industrial users and for providing large space for material handling. At the BARC-Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) Pelletron Accelerator, a Super-conducting LINAC booster is being constructed with a view to enhance the energy of heavy ion beams. The first synchroton radiation source Indus-1 was commissioned in 1999 and is in regular operation with three of its five beam lines commissioned at the Centre for Advanced Technology, Indore. The second synchrotron source INDUS-2 will be commissioned during 2003. A superconducting cyclotron is in the advanced stages of construction at the Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre.


Mr. President, India considers the Regional Cooperative Agreement for Asia and the Pacific (RCA) as an important mechanism for the growth and use of nuclear technologies for the sustainable development in the region. Following the Agency’s efforts in transferring more and more management responsibilities and ownership to the Member States, we have been continuously increasing our participation in the RCA Programmes. India has the requisite expertise in various RCA related activities and well developed infrastructure facilities which have been made available as Regional Resource Units. More training/workshop events are being hosted. There is an increase in providing the services of our experts and fellowship training. We have evolved suitable mechanisms for successful technology transfers to the end-users and their active participation in the RCA programmes.


Now, I would like to address some of the management and budget issues. We appreciate the appointment by the Director General of Standing Advisory Groups for Nuclear Energy and Nuclear Science and Applications and are happy to note that the groups have started functioning. We are sure they would provide inputs to the Agency for the formulation of future programmes.


Year after year we go through the agonizing exercise of approving the Programme and Budget of the IAEA. This year has been no exception. Through a budgetary gimmick, we have managed to appear adhering to zero real growth, but in actual fact, there has been an increase in the outlay of the Agency. New obligations of the Agency cannot be met without additional resources. We have always urged that the IAEA, as a unique multidisciplinary S&T Organisation in the U. N. system, must have means to execute its activities. Under the ‘one-house’ concept rightly advocated by the D. G., it should be possible to judiciously use the scarce resources and implement activities that are mandatory, statutory, sought by G. C. resolutions, or requested by Member States.


The IAEA was created with the sole objective of accelerating and enlarging the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world. This objective can be fulfilled only through advancement of technology. Accordingly, technology must become the central pillar on which the Agency’s activities should rest. Safety and safeguards, while indeed important, can only be supporting activities.


The Agency has been fulfilling its mandate and has also enlarged its core competence in the last past 44 years. One wonders whether such an organisation with access to the experience of so many experts from almost all member states and entrusted with cutting edge technology deserves to be subjected to the vagaries of the budget negotiations year after year. Definitely, this organisation whose success has been based on its inherent capability, expertise developed over a period of time and which has been delivering what Member States desire, deserves our whole-hearted support, both technological and financial. While extra-budgetary support has its uses, it fundamentally promotes commerce but not the technological empowerment. India has been regularly making its contributions to the TCF in full and on time. This year also we have pledged to contribute in full to the TCF.


As regards the Agency activities in the last year, the launching of a new regional project entitled "Support Towards Self–Reliance and Sustainability of National Nuclear Institutes" is relevant and timely. Nuclear Research Centres (NRC) have played a very important role in the development, administration and deployment of electricity as well as non-electricity applications of nuclear energy. By and large NRCs are multi-disciplinary in nature and undertake a spectrum of activities and have contributed to the overall national development in respective countries. We are sure that this new project would help to understand how to accomplish a high degree of self-reliance and sustainability of national nuclear institutes in the present day context.


While contemplating the future of nuclear power, a related concern is the tendency in many countries towards the erosion of the knowledge base due to the ageing of the existing experts, the lack of interest on part of the next generation of professionals to join the nuclear industry as a result of their perception of the industry as a ‘stagnant industry’. Unless young people see growth in opportunities either in R&D or in industrial activity, the problem of continuity of knowledge would remain a serious one. The Agency has initiated steps to address this issue by way of organising advisory group meetings on education and training in nuclear safety. The INSAG has also addressed the issue of knowledge, training and R&D infrastructure in the context of nuclear safety. Besides, the Agency has established a sub-programme on preservation of knowledge in nuclear science and technology. India today has a very large pool of relatively young trained professionals in nuclear sciences and technologies with a continuous stream of input into our programme. Based on more than four decades of rich experience in Human Resources Development in our nuclear research institutes India has offered to conduct ‘tailor-made courses’ on several topics of relevance to the Agency’s work. We will be happy to participate in the Train the Trainers and Distance Learning Programmes of the Agency.


The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board of India (AERB) has reported near total compliance in the year 2000-2001 with its reduced annual permissible limits (30 mSv) on radiation dose to workers in the radiation installations in the country. The R&D activities of the Safety Research Institute of the AERB registered considerable progress during the year. The AERB replaced its system of renewal of operational license of nuclear power stations with that of Periodic Safety Review format prescribed by the IAEA guide. The AERB also participated actively in the INES and IRS of the Agency. A multi-pronged approach is required to ensure safety. Primary among these is the fostering of a safety culture and development of technologies. In this context, we have developed world-class plant simulators for improved operator training and the first of its kind was recently installed at the Kaiga Atomic Power Station.


Mr. President, before I conclude, I would like to add that it is only proper that those who are privileged to have developed and used atomic energy for their national development share their expertise with others who have not been similarly placed. This year the theme of the scientific forum rightly focuses on questions of social and economic development under the title "Serving Human Needs: Nuclear Technology for sustainable development." India believes from its own experience that development in the field of peaceful uses of atomic energy acts as a catalyst and provides the impetus for accelerated national development. The main motto of technical cooperation and technology transfer of this unique organisation should be technological empowerment to meet human needs. We can achieve it by co-operating through this Agency. We owe this to humanity.


Thank you, Mr. President.


Beamlines on Indus-1 become Operational
R. V. Nandedekar
Centre for Advanced Technology,
Indore, Madhya Pradesh



Synchrotron radiation has emerged as a powerful tool for pure and applied research for state-of-art investigations in almost all branches of science because of its many unique properties such as broad spectrum (from far infra red to hard x rays), small beam size, short pulse duration and high degree of polarisation.


At the Centre for Advanced Technology (CAT), Indore a 450 MeV electron synchrotron radiation source Indus-1 has been in operation since end of 1999. This source gives synchrotron radiation from soft x rays, vacuum ultra violet (VUV) rays to infrared. To use this radiation from Indus-1 for different experimental work, six beamlines and experimental stations are planned to do experiments in the soft x ray, VUV and visible range. Of these six beamlines, two are now operational and the remaining are being commissioned. A second source Indus-2, a 2.5 GeV electron storage ring, is under construction.


In India, development of accelerator had started before 1950’s for research in basic nuclear physics. Prof. Meghnad Saha had developed a 37 inch cyclotron at the Institute of Nuclear Physics, Kolkatta (now Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics). Later, a 1 MeV Cockroft-Walton generator was commissioned at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai in 1953. Followed by the increased use of accelerators for a wide range of applications in basic sciences and industries, 400 keV neutron generator were installed at the Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics (SINP), Bose Institute, Kolkatta and Aligarh Muslin University, Aligarh. In 1962, a 5.5 MeV Van-de-Graaff was installed at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). However, the technology in the accelerator development took a leap in 1978, when an indigenously developed and built 224 cm diameter Variable Energy Cyclotron was made operational at the Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre (VECC) at Kolkatta.


Realizing the importance of developing accelerator technology in India, DAE in 1979, appointed a committee to recommend a comprehensive long term programme to construct accelerator in India. The committee recommended constructing a synchrotron radiation facility in Phase-I of the long term programme to cater to the needs of a much larger scientific community than say proton synchrotron or a high energy proton accelerators in the first phase. The committee recommended construction of latter type of accelerators in the Phase-2.


To implement Phase-1 of the programme, another committee was constituted to evolve specification of synchrotron radiation facility. It was decided to build two synchrotron radiation sources of 450 MeV and 2 GeV electron energy (later named as Indus-1 and Indus-2 respectively).


CAT was set up at Indore, Madhya Pradesh, to take up construction of these two synchrotron radiation sources and accelerators in future. Development of laser technology was also a part of the mandate of CAT. The financial sanction to construct Indus-1 was issued by the Government of India in March 1987. A temporary shed of area 700 sq.m. in 1987 was constructed at the site of the Centre, to initiate both the accelerator and laser programmes.


Soon after the construction of Indus-1 started, beam lines were planned on this facility. Since there are four bending magnets only 6-8 beam lines were possible. BARC, CAT and Inter-University Consortium for DAE Facilities (IUC-DAEF) got involved in the design, construction and installation of beam lines. Indus-1 was commissioned in Dec 1999 and two beam lines out of six have been working. Other beam lines are under commissioning stage. Indus-2 is under construction and is expected to be available for users in few years from now.


The schematic of the synchrotron radiation facility Indus-1 and Indus-2 is shown in figure 1.


Figure 1


The Injection system for both Indus-1 and Indus-2 is same and consists of a microtron and a booster synchrotron. The microtron injector, developed at CAT is a classical type microtron which gives 20 MeV electron beam with a current of 30 mA in pulses of 1 to 2 microsecond duration at a repetition rate of 1 to 3 Hertz.


The Booster Synchrotron has a separated function type magnetic lattice which consists of six super periods, each having a dipole magnet and a focusing and a defocusing quadrupole for tuning the ring. Injection to this synchrotron is carried out at 20 MeV electron beam from the microtron by multi-turn injection process. The accelerated beam will be extracted from the straight section by deflecting it by a fast kicker located in the straight section of booster synchrotron.


The booster synchrotron has been designed to accelerate electrons to energies upto 700 MeV. Electron beam at 450 MeV is injected in the storage ring Indus-1 and will be injected at 700 MeV in Indus-2 where it will be boosted to 2-2.5 GeV.


From the booster synchrotron the beam is extracted upto 450 MeV at a beam current of 8-10m A. This beam is transported up to the entrance of the injection septum of the storage ring and then injected into storage ring Indus-1. The storage ring Indus-1 has four bending magnets of 1.5 Tesla and bending radius of 1 meter. The magnetic lattice of the ring consists of four super periods, each having one dipole magnet with a field index of 0.5 and two doublets of quadrupoles. Specifications of Indus-1 are given in Table 1. The photon flux and the spectral brightness is given in figure 2.


Table 1: Parameters of Indus-1


  Designed Achieved
Electron Energy 450 MeV 450 MeV
Beam current 100 mA 170 mA
Beam lifetime 1.8 hrs 1.0 hrs at 100 mA
Dipole bending field 1.5 T
Critical wavelength (energy) 61.38 A (202 eV)
Circumference 18.96 m
Photon flux (at lc) 7.2 x 1011 photons/sec/mrad horiz./0.1%BW
Brightness 6.5x1011 photons/sec/mm2/mrad2/ 0.1%BW
Bunch length 113 mm
Revolution frequency 15.82 Mhz
Harmonic number 2


The vacuum system of the ring is designed to maintain an ultimate pressure of 10-9 mbar under full load. Pumping is carried out by turbo molecular pump sputter ion pump combination. Sputter ion pumps are developed at CAT. The control system of Indus-1 is based on a modular and distributed architecture. Hardware is based on popular VME bus. Software is also modular and uses standard language. The control system is made homogenous by employing minimum number of hardware and software modules.


Figure 2


Figure 3


Indus-1 storage ring has four bending magnets with a radius of one metre. Beamlines are drawn only from three bending magnets as the fourth bending magnet is close to the injection septum and the transport line from the booster synchrotron. Each dipole magnet vacuum chamber has two ports. From each port two beamlines can be tapped. Due to various constraints, only nine beamlines are possible from these three bending magnets.


On the synchrotron radiation facility Indus-1, several experiments can be performed simultaneously with specially designed beamlines, which transport the synchrotron radiation beam to the sample with required specifications with respect to photon wavelength, spectral purity, beam size, polarization, etc. Two such beam lines, viz., Photo Electron Spectroscopy beam line constructed by the IUC-DAEF, Indore and a reflectivity/metrology beamline constructed by CAT have recently become operational. Three more beamlines are being constructed by BARC, which would become available later this year.


The Photo Electron Spectroscopy beamline of IUC can be used for photo-electron spectroscopy to obtain information on electronic density of states, band structure in solids and surface physics. The beamline gives monochromatic radiation in the 60-1600 Angstrom wavelength region with a moderate resolution and high intensity. The experimental station on this beam line is an ultra high vacuum compatible angle integrated photo electron spectrometer equipped with sophisticated systems.


The Reflectivity beamline of CAT is a multipurpose beamline that can be used for a variety of applications including study of materials (metals, semiconductors, thin films, etc.) in the VUV and soft x-ray regime. In particular, this beamline is well suited to perform reflectometry of thin films and multilayer specimen. The beamline gives monochromatic radiation in the 40-1000 Angstrom wavelength region with a moderate resolution and high intensity. The experimental station on this beamline is a high vacuum Reflectometer that is capable to perform angle and wavelength dependent reflectivity measurements. The experimental station is shown below:



Other beamlines which are under commissioning and construction are:

  1. An angle resolved photoelectron spectroscopy beamline.
  2. Photophysics beamline.
  3. A high resolution spectroscopy beamline and
  4. A photon absorption spectroscopy beamline. Some of these beamlines are expected to be ready in the year 2001.
BARCIS 2000 System for Inservice
Inspection of Atomic Power Stations
Manjit Singh
Head, Division of Remote Handling & Robotics
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai



In-Service Inspection (ISI) of coolant channels of pressurized heavy water teactors (PHWRs) is essential to provide assurance of continued structural integrity of pressure tubes over reactor life-time.


A channel inspection system known as BARC-Channel Inspection System (BARCIS 2000 system) for the inservice inspection of the Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS) coolant channels, has been developed. The system is designed with the objectives of minimizing radiation exposure to inspection personnel and completion of inspection with minimum reactor down time.


The overall system consists of an inspection head, a special sealing plug, a drive mechanism, a computerized control system, a Closed Circuit TV (CCTV) system and inspection equipments. The existing fuelling machine has been used to load/unload the assembly of special sealing plug and inspection head into the coolant channel. This has resulted in substantial reduction in cost and complexity of the system.


The successful completion of indigenous channel inspection system marks the development of critical technology and has resulted in substantial savings in foreign exchange.


A prototype version of the system, developed in 1992, was used for the inservice inspection of about 200 coolant channels of RAPS-2, MAPS-1 & MAPS-2. Based on the successful operation of the prototype system, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) had asked BARC to supply two improved Mark-II systems for MAPS and one Mark-III system for the Narora Atomic Power Station (NAPS) at a total cost of Rs 5.50 crore. The first Mark-II improved system was supplied to MAPS in July, 1997. Mark-III system was supplied to NAPS in January, 1999.


The second Mark-II system (BARCIS 2000 system) incorporating improvements based on operational experiences has now been developed. The improvements have been implemented in close co-ordination with MAPS. The inspection head has been improved to incorporate centering modules, load decoupler module, double universal joint and modular construction. These features help in improving the accuracy of inspection parameters. The drive mechanism and control system are designed to be industrially rugged for minimising maintenance requirements. A window based operator friendly control system has been utilised. A quad CCTV system is used for remotised alignment, remotised calibration, checking of linear and rotary displacements of inspection head and surveillance in fuelling machine vault during inservice inspection. A dedicated computer compatible eddy current instrument for gap measurement has been developed and implemented. An anti-ejection device to eliminate the chances of inadvertent ejection of special sealing plug and a blind flange to blank the channel in emergency conditions have been implemented. A facility for online calibration checking of ultrasonic transducers has also been implemented. Rotary mechanical stops are used to eliminate chances of damage to transducers cables. The system has been extensively tested at full scale mock-up test facility at Trombay and despatched to MAPS.


BARCIS 2000 Drive Mechanism


BARCIS 2000 Control System


Features of BARCIS Mark 2000:

  1. Minimum overall size and weight of drive mechanizm to simplify handling in fuelling machine vault.
  2. Improved sealing plug, anti-ejection device, drive tube guide module and drive tube-to-tube joint.
  3. Features for quick connection/disconnection of drive tubes with rotary gear box.
  4. Mechanical stops for rotary drive.
  5. Torque limiting coupling for linear and rotary drives.
  6. Non-contact position sensors for linear and rotary drives.
  7. Absolute encoders for linear and rotary position feedback.
  8. A windows based operator-friendly control system.
  9. Automatic logging of eddy current inspection data.
  10. Computer compatible nondestructive testing instruments.
  11. A facility for on-line calibration checking of ultrasonic transducers.
  12. Two way public-address system for communication between FM vault and inservice inspection control station.
  13. A quad CCTV system for remotised alignment and calibration checking of linear and rotary displacements of inspection head and surveillance in FM vault during inservice inspection.

System Capabilities:

BARCIS 2000 system has the following capabilities:

  1. Ultrasonic measurement of wall thickness of pressure tube.
  2. Ultrasonic detection of flaws in longitudinal and circumferential directions in pressure tube.
  3. Eddy current detection of garter spring location and tilt.
  4. Eddy current estimation of annular gap between pressure tube and calandria tube.
  5. Eddy current detection of flaws in longitudinal and circumferential directions on inner surface of pressure tube.



Using this system, training for 44 operators from some atomic power stations was conducted at Trombay in July, 2000.


Participating Agencies of BARC
Division of Remote Handling & Robotics Development of inspection head, drive mechanism, computerised control system, eddy current gap measurement, quad CCTV system & computer compatible NDT instruments.
Atomic Fuels Division Development of inspection techniques
Refuelling Technology Division Development of special sealing plug and in-head calibration plug
Central Workshops Machining of parts of special sealing plug and in-head calibration plug.


Advances in BARCIS:


Under the IX-Plan project "Development of Tools & Techniques", following advanced technologies are being persued:

  1. Ultrasonic measurements: A computer based four-channel ultrasonic dimensional measuring system has been developed for measurement of inner and outer diameter and wall thickness of pressure tube. The system has a resolution of measurement of one micrometer and overall accuracy of ten micrometers.
  2. Ultrasonic imaging: Experiments for detection of zirconium hydride blisters are being conducted. It has been possible to detect one millimeter diameter blister using amplitude of reflected shear wave. Further experiments to qualify the technique for field use are on hand.
  3. Underwater visual inspection: Development of an advanced miniature underwater radiation resistant CCTV camera suitable for delivery by BARCIS is in progress. Prototype optical and electronic components for the camera have been developed and are undergoing irradiation testing. The components are being qualified for use in radiation field of 106 Rads/hr for an integrated dose of 108 Rads.

These technologies shall be implemented in future version of BARCIS. The technologies can also be retro-fitted in earlier BARCIS systems.


Ammonia Absorption Refrigeration: Improving the energy utilization performance in Heavy Water Plants:


As a part of the drive for reduction of energy consumption and optimal usage of resources, the Heavy Water Board has embarked upon a multi-pronged programme for waste heat recovery. One such area is generation of refrigeration requirements through low grade waste heat recovery. Studies by the Board on this have led to the development of an innovative vapour absorption refrigeration system.


Process for heavy water production is highly energy intensive and substantial part of the energy consumed is for generating refrigeration. The refrigeration requirement in heavy water plants are in the range of 1000 TR to 15000 TR depending on the process employed and capacity of the plants. The refrigeration used is for chilled water application as well as generation of temperature levels upto -30° celsius for gas cooling.


While freon based vapour compression refrigeration is used for chilled water applications, ammonia vapour compression refrigeration is employed for applications of very low temperature levels. The extensive use of various refrigeration systems and the huge capacities involved prompted the Board to review the alternative systems for improving the overall performance and utilization of low grade energies available as waste heat.


The conventional refrigeration system comprise of adiabatic expansion of liquid refrigerant, evaporation where the refrigeration effect is generated, compression of the low pressure refrigerant vapour to higher pressure and condensation of the compressed vapours to liquid state. Thus, energy is consumed in the refrigeration cycle for compression of the vapour and the energy is rejected in the condenser. The energy consumed for the compression process is high grade energy.


Utilization of costly and higher grade energy for the compression system for liquid refrigerant generation is gainfully replaced by absorption of the refrigerant and generation of the same by distillation using low grade heat source such as low pressure steam or hot flue gas. The electrical energy consumption in such a vapour absorption refrigeration system is very small and mainly in the pumping cost of the solution. Other systems in the refrigeration cycle employing the vapour absorption system remain same as that for the vapour compression system. Large affinity of ammonia & water and lithium bromide & water have helped into development of vapour absorption systems with these constituents.


The effectiveness of generation of cold energy is determined by its Coefficient of Performance (COP) which is a measure of refrigeration generated per unit consumption of energy. In case of conventional vapour compression cycle, the COP is about 4 for chilled water applications. This when converted to power works out to about 756 kcal/hr or 0.88 kW. This is calculated without considering power plant efficiency. However when efficiency for power generation is considered (typically 3000-3500 kcal/kW-hr) then the energy requirement will be 3076 kcal/hr per ton of refrigeration. The vapour absorption system can become attractive when the COP of its cycle is greater than 0.98. Thus a vapour compression COP of 4 is equivalent to absorption COP of 0.98 for a chilled water applications. Here again it assumes that the steam is of the same quality. For a waste steam utilization, such a comparison may not be required.


The effectiveness of generation of cold energy is determined by its Coefficient of Performance (COP) which is a measure of refrigeration generated per unit consumption of energy. In case of conventional vapour compression cycle, the COP is about 4 for chilled water applications. This when converted to power works out to about 756 kcal/hr or 0.88 kW. This is calculated without considering power plant efficiency. However when efficiency for power generation is considered (typically 3000-3500 kcal/kW-hr) then the energy requirement will be 3076 kcal/hr per ton of refrigeration. The vapour absorption system can become attractive when the COP of its cycle is greater than 0.98. Thus a vapour compression COP of 4 is equivalent to absorption COP of 0.98 for a chilled water applications. Here again it assumes that the steam is of the same quality. For a waste steam utilization, such a comparison may not be required.


Similarly for negative temperature applications like -30° celsius, the COP of a compression cycle works out to 1.5. This requires 8025 kcal/hr of energy per ton of refrigeration. The vapour absorption cycle will be attractive with a COP of 0.38. Here again it assumes that the steam is of the same quality. However COP for conventional ammonia absorption refrigeration is about 0.3. This indicates that if it is possible to improve the COP of absorption refrigeration system to about 0.4, the vapour absorption system would become more attractive as compared to the vapour compression system.


The R&D efforts are directed towards the development of absorption cycle with improved COP which in the longer run would substitute the compression cycle machines. This will give a tremendous advantage due to the fact that the electric power tariffs are increasing at a much faster pace. The fact that it is possible to develop a vapour absorption cycle using low quality heat sources like some of the waste streams available in the plant give an immense advantage to the vapour absorption system. Also in view of various constraints imposed on the use of green house gases covered under Kyoto Protocol like CFCs (chloro fluoro carbons) and requirement of progressive elimination of use of CFCs the vapour absorption cycle with improved COP would certainly play a significant role in the future energy system.


It will be quiet attractive as compared to vapour compression refrigeration system with the innovative idea of modifying ammonia absorption refrigeration system to get higher COP in the range of 0.4 to 0.5. In addition the utilization of waste heat steam for ammonia absorption refrigeration with COP 0.4 and above, the attractiveness of vapour absorption ammonia refrigeration system is further boosted as compared to vapour compression system.


The Heavy Water Board has developed a front-end technology for making the monothermal ammonia–hydrogen exchange based heavy water plants independent of fertilizer plants. A Technology Demonstration Plant using the new process is presently being implemented at the Heavy Water Plant, Baroda. Integration of the main process with the vapour absorption refrigeration system, which can provide the entire requirement of refrigeration load of the plant at an incremental rise in consumption of steam, has been found to be feasible. This integration is carried out by an innovative process development in the ammonia absorption refrigeration (AAR) system.


In this system, the main column containing the generator and rectifier for refrigerant ammonia, is split up into two sections and at optimum reflux, the process ammonia is withdrawn at two different levels for obtaining the refrigeration load. The system can be operated with ammonia & water both in open loop, ammonia in close loop & water in open loop and also with ammonia & water both in close loop configuration based on the process integration requirements.


The concept of the process of ammonia absorption refrigeration as discussed above demands development of several sub-systems in this plant which needs further investigation and some amount of R&D work. For carrying out this study, a collaborative project was taken up with M/s Thermax Ltd. and a pilot plant was set up at Pune. The plant has been under operation since December 22, 2000 and collected data is being analysed. Experimentation is being carried out for improvement in the process and COP.


The process of AAR system that got initiated and developed as a spin off of the process development of heavy water production can be gainfully utilised in all the process and non-process industries, wherever some low quality heat source is available. It can also find a place along with the compression refrigeration system. This will not only improve the cost effectiveness of the product and help in globalised market scenario but will help in conserving the fast depleting resources for energy by its optimal use.


(Source: HWB Newsletter Vol. 07)


SILVERINA - A Multi-Purpose Sodium Rig:



A new sodium loop, SILVERINA, was constructed and commissioned at IGCAR to conduct various experiments related to Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) and general sodium technology.



SILVERINA consists of three cylindrical test pots, a dynamic loop with an electromagnetic pump, cold trap, plugging indicator, sodium sampler and other gadget. Storage tank is positioned in 6 m deep dump pit and the test pots are located in first floor at 3.6 m above ground level. The sodium hold up in storage tank is 1300 kg.




Newly fabricated components and the components removed from previously operated sodium loops are used in the loop after re-qualification tests. Indigenously developed ECR type surface heaters are used for preheating. Surface heater control is manual. A data logger monitors the temperatures and auto-tune PID controller controls the temperature in test pots and heater vessel.


All control logics in the loop are PLC (programmable logic controller) based. Nine channel electronic penless recorder monitors critical temperatures continuously. Cold trap blower driven by an induction motor is controlled by a variable frequency drive for controlling the cold point of the air cooled cold trap. Test Pot -1 and 2 are designed for operation up to 550°C and Test Pot-3 for 600°C operation. SILVERINA is flexible enough to take up any small scale sodium experiments. It is possible to take up three independent experiments at three different test conditions at a time.




Testing of PFBR transfer arm bearing (roller thrust type) in reactor grade sodium at 200 ° C is currently under progress in a Test Pot-2. Calibration of mutual inductance type level probes will be taken up in Test Pot-1. Level probes will be calibrated at different sodium temperatures and at different sodium levels to apply temperature compensation and to assess the performance.


A sodium column of 1800 mm is available in this test pot. Three probes can be inserted in three pockets in the test pot and they can be calibrated at a time and the fourth pocket will be for the reference dip stick type level probe. Performance and endurance test of the electro magnet of PFBR Diverse Safety Rod Drive Mechanism (DSRDM) in sodium will be done in Test Pot-3.


Apart from the above experiments, sodium vapour deposition in narrow annular gaps, self welding and friction behaviour of materials in sodium and tests related to sodium tribometer are also planned in these test pots in future campaigns.


(S. Chandramouli, K. K. Rajan and M. Rajan, IGCAR)



Density Measurement Station:


The Centre for Advanced Technology, Indore has developed a laser based Density Measurement Station which meets stringent specifications in regards to density and dimensions, instrument can precisely measure the dimensions as well as densities of sintered UO2 pellets, produced at Nuclear Fuel Complex, Hyderabad.


Accuracy of this instrument in the measurement of dimensions and density of UO2 pellet is ±2 micron and to the second decimal point in gm/cc respectively. High accuracy is required in testing of sintered UO2 pellet, to qualify them for use in fuel bundles. This instrument is designed for estimating nearly 250 pellets per hour.



BARC Signs MoU With BEL:


BARC and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Bangalore, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for joint development of Laser Communicator and its Applications. The system, consisting of two sets of optical transceiver units, is a low cost and low power, short/long range (1.5 km/10 kms), compact and light weight device. Using pulse frequency modulation, it offers secure speech transmission of telephonic quality in full duplex mode.


The main advantages of this atmospheric line-of-sight communication link, which uses a near infrared (invisible) light carrier beam, are:

  1. High security and privacy.
  2. Low cost of installation.
  3. Quick and easy installation and alignment and
  4. Free from radio interference.

Chairman, AEC AT Institute Of Physics, BHUBANESHWAR:


Dr. Anil Kakodkar, Chairman, AEC visited the Institute of Physics (IOP), Bhubaneshwar during July 10-12, 2001. He took keen interest in various experimental facilities set up in the Ion Beam Laboratory, cluster & nano-material and other laboratories.


IOP has developed the first accelerator based mass spectrometry facility in the country for carbon-14 and beryllium-10 based dating. Another unique facility at the accelerator laboratory is the microbeam facility with 2 micron beam resolution for carrying out scanning ion microscopy, elemental mapping and ion lithography, which is also the first of its kind in the country. Many novel nano-materials have been grown and characterized in the nano-material laboratory, which exhibit interesting optical and structural properties and have potential technological applications. The Institute has also recently set up high resolution Transmission Electron Microscope, X-ray photoelectron spectrometer and Molecular Beam Epitaxy equipment.


Dr. Kakodkar laid the foundation stone of an auditorium being built in the campus.


Significant Achievements on Safety Front:


The Heavy Water Plants at Tuticorin, Kota, Hazira & Talcher have achieved reportable injury free continuous working throughout the year 2000-01. All the seven plants worked for a period of 12.2 million man-hours with minimum numbers of injuries & man-days lost. Heavy Water Plant Tuticorin has achieved accident free period of 3000 days.


The Heavy Water Board is now aiming to achieve zero accident goal




Based on the technology developed at Trombay, a pilot plant was set up at the Heavy Water Plant, Talcher (Orissa) for development of technology and manufacture of D2EHPA (di-2 ethyl hexyl phosphoric acid).


The plant has been under operation for process optimization and market seeding and acceptability studies. In the process about 11 MT of product has been realised. The data generated will be facilitating the design of industrial scale plant.


Over 8.5 MT of the product has already been sold to various solvent extraction industries, both in public and private sector. The feed back received from the industrial consumers has been very encouraging.


The product D2EHPA has acquired a brand name TOPS-99 (Talcher Organo Phosphorus Solvent).


(Source: BARC Newsletter No. 209)


ISOMED bags Award for Excellence in Service:


ISOMED, the industrial gamma sterilization plant for healthcare products in the country, operated by the Board of Radiation & Isotope Technology (BRIT) of DAE, has bagged the Award for Excellence in Service. The award has been instituted by M/s Johnson & Johnson Ltd., one of the major healthcare products manufacturers in India. ISOMED has been given this award in recognition of achieving lead time reduction. The award was received by Dr. N. Ramamurthy, Chief Executive, BRIT.


This is the fifth time in succession that ISOMED has received the award.


Computer based Hospital Information Management System:


A computer based Hospital Information Management System developed by BARC is a software package for processing and management of various types of hospital information. Designed around ORACLE in ‘UNIX’ platform, the package can be customised to suit the needs of different hospitals.


The entire system consists of various information modules catering to different activities of a hospital. The various modules are Patient medical records system, Appointment, Bed management, Pharmacy inventory system, Blood bank, Bibliographic literature search, Clinical research, Patient billing, general administration etc.


For details please contact:

Head, Technology Transfer &
Collaboration Division,
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre,
Trombay, Mumbai 400 085.
Fax: 091-022-5505151


DAE Symposium on Cyclone Emergency Preparedness:


India’s coastal areas have been experiencing moderate to severe cyclonic storms almost every other year. The cyclonic storm which struck Paradeep in Orissa two years ago and the one which hit the coast at Divisima in Andhra Pradesh in 1978 provide telling examples of the scale of devastation that can occur in the aftermath.


Some of the units of DAE, such as Orissa Sands Complex (OSCOM), Indian Rare Earths Limited (IREL), MAPS and IGCAR, being located on east coast of India, are quite prone to be affected by cyclonic storms. While each such unit is expected to have its own cyclone emergency preparedness plan, it is felt that discussions amongst the different concerned units and also state government agencies dealing with cyclone emergency plans, would highly benefit all the units. Towards this end, it is proposed to hold a symposium at Kalpakkam on Cyclone Emergency Preparedness, to be jointly organised by IREL, IGCAR and other DAE units, at Kalpakkam during January 30-31, 2002.


The theme of the symposium will be "Cyclone Protection and Relief". Amongst others, representatives from the States of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa will be invited to share their expertise and rich experience in this area. The symposium will have invited talks by specialists from Structural Engineering Research Centre, Indian Meteorological Department, Port Trusts, Public Sector Undertakings and other institutions.


Topics to be covered include:

  1. Cyclone formation and it’s impact.
  2. Monitoring and forecasting of cyclonic disturbances.
  3. Engineering and structural considerations in cyclone prone areas.
  4. Cyclone protection – Mitigation, preparation, rescue and relief (immediate and long term).
  5. Case studies.
  6. Information network for cyclone warning.

(Source: IGCAR Website)


Reaching Out



On the occasion of the one day seminar in Hindi on "Atomic Energy & Societal Development" held at New Delhi in September 5, 2001, an exhibition in Hindi depicting the various peaceful applications of atomic energy in India, was arranged. The exhibition was inaugurated by Dr. D. N. Tiwari, Member, Planning Commission (top). The picture to the right is a view of the exhibition.