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Updated March 4th, 2024 at 16:12 IST

PM Modi to Witness Historic Nuclear Milestone: Core Loading of Fast Breeder Reactor in Kalpakkam

India will become the second country ever to have operated commercial fast reactors, after Russia, thus bringing it another step closer to the use of Thorium.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Prime Minister Modi will witness India's historic nuclear milestone at the Kalpakkam Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor.plant on Monday during Tamil Nadu Visit.
Prime Minister Modi will witness India's historic nuclear milestone at the Kalpakkam Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor.plant on Monday during Tamil Nadu Visit. | Image:PTI/ X
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New Delhi: Prime Minister Modi will witness a landmark moment in India's nuclear power journey during his visit to Tamil Nadu on Monday. He will be attending the initiation of core loading for the indigenous Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) in Kalpakkam, Tamil Nadu, according to an official statement. Developed by Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Limited (BHAVINI), this reactor is being deemed a very important milestone with its 500 MWe capacity.

Interestingly, with this achievement, India will become the second country to have commercially operated fast reactors.

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Core Loading Process

The core loading process involves the sequential loading of reactor control subassemblies, blanket subassemblies, and fuel subassemblies, which will ultimately lead to the generation of  power. As per prior reports, India's nuclear strategy follows a three-stage program with a closed fuel cycle, and the PFBR will be the second stage. It  uses spent fuel from the first stage, reprocessing it for use as fuel. This move is being hailed as India's move towards self-reliance in fuel supply for future fast reactors, the statement added.

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Towards Energy Independence & Thorium Ambitions

Additionally, the sodium-cooled PFBR possesses a ‘unique’ capability to produce more fuel than it consumes. This, too, is a key step towards achieving energy independence. Fast Breeder Reactors (FBRs) promise to offer a safe, efficient, and clean energy source, aligning with the goal of reaching net zero emissions, the release added, and they do so because they have advanced safety features and minimal nuclear waste generation,

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This development also underlines the overall progress of India's goal towards thorium utilisation, which is integral to the third stage of its nuclear power program, and the plan has been there for a while. Once operational, India will become the second country, after Russia, to have a commercially operating fast reactor.

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Published March 3rd, 2024 at 16:40 IST

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