India opens second Tarapur reprocessing plant

7 January 2011

Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh has formally opened an uranium reprocessing plant at Tarapur, in Maharashtra, India.

Media reports suggest its capacity is 100 tons per year.

According to an article published by the Institute for Environmental and Energy Research by Frans Berkhout and Surendra Gadekar, India operates three other reprocessing facilities with a total design capacity of 230 tons: BARC at Trombay (1964-1973, 1982-present), PREFRE at Tarapur (1982-present) and KARP in Madras (1996-present).

Singh said: "We have come a long way since the first reprocessing of spent fuel in India in the year 1964 at Trombay. The recycling and optimal utilization of Uranium is essential to meet our current and future energy security needs. The vision of the founding fathers of our nuclear programme, Jawaharlal Nehru and Homi Bhabha, was to achieve the mastery of the complete fuel cycle, thus enabling India to use our vast and abundant thorium resources in advanced nuclear power reactors. The reprocessing of spent fuel is therefore the key to our three stage indigenous nuclear power programme. Reprocessing is essential in the transition to the second stage of fast breeder reactors which we have begun, and in the subsequent third stage using thorium in advanced reactors."

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