India plans six more fast reactors

3 December 2015

As India's first 500MWe Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) at Kalpakkam prepares to achieve first criticality in March or April 2016, P Chellapandi, Chairman and Managing Director of Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Limited (BHAVINI) said the Department of Atomic Energy plans to construct six new fast breeder reactors (FBRs) in next 15 years.

Speaking to reporters on sidelines of an International Conference, organised by India's Nuclear Fuel Complex, Chellapandi said, "We are planning two more reactors after a year of successful operation of this PFBR, we have to watch, then we will seek government sanction for construction of two 600MWe reactors at Kalpakkam."

He expects the 600MWe units to cost the same as the PFBR as a result of optimisation. "Afterwards we have to think of new places for putting four more units. The site selection committee is choosing some places and are studying suitable size. Our immediate vision is to construct two FBRs at Kalpakkam and four more after 2030," he added.

He said construction of the PFBR (designed by the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research) is complete and approval is being sought from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) in stages for sodium charging, fuel loading, reactor criticality and power generation. He expects the fuel loading to take place in January-February and the reactor to become critical in March or April 2016.

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