India has come one step closer to achieving an unlimited source of energy, by commissioning Nuclear fast-breeder reactor at Kalpakkam, it has found use for its vast reserves of Thorium.
India has been running an experimental facility called a Fast-Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR) now for 27 years
Hidden from the public, about the beaches of the Bay of Bengal in the Kalpakkam near Chennai, Indian atomic scientists at the last throes of beginning a high-class giant stove over 15 years in the making.
This book nuclear reactor is a type of an 'Akshaya Patra,' the mythical goblet having an endless supply of food.
The Department of Nuclear Energy is getting ready to commission its ultra-modern indigenously made and locally mastered fast-breeder reactor.
Specialists say to make nuclear energy sustainable; one sure shot way is to earn fast-breeder reactors+ mainstream.
Yukiya Amano, Director General of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, says "fast reactors will help pull up to 70 per cent more energy than conventional reactors and are safer than traditional reactors while reducing long-lived radioactive waste from many fold."
Easier said than done because these reactors can also be notoriously unstable and therefore hard to run reliably over long periods.
Called a 'Fast-Breeder Reactor,' these are a unique sort of nuclear reactors that generate more nuclear fuel than they consume as they operate.
India was running an experimental facility referred to as a Fast-Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR) for 27 years.
This is a tiny nuclear reactor that a forerunner for the beast that India has constructed at Kalpakkam known as the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR). This may generate electricity commercially using the fast breeder route.
The world's only commercially operating fast breeder reactor is situated in the Ural Mountains of Russia in the Beloyarsk Nuclear Power Plant, not far from Russia's fourth biggest city Yekaterinburg.
This reactor produces about 800 MW of electricity and provides it to the Ural area such as the city of Yekaterinburg.
While electricity that's created is not any different than any other power but the worldwide network of atomic boffins is suitably chuffed about this exceptional achievement.
M Chudakov, now with the IAEA and famous Russian fast breeder expert, calls "these reactors a bridge to the future since they may supply an almost unlimited source of electricity."
All eyes are currently on southern India where another global nuclear milestone is likely to be crossed this season.
That is the fascination in fast breeder reactors that over 700 of the best atomic scientists from more than 30 countries gathered at Yekaterinburg in IAEA's summit on the 'next generation atomic systems for sustainable development.' On how best to create energy endure for several 13, the scientists deliberated.
Given India's expertise, the co-chair of the convention was Suresh Chetal, one of the early pioneers of fast breeder reactors who helped tame fast breeder reactors to get New Delhi when he had been in the IGCAR.
Many countries have dabbled with fast breeder reactors and have given up, first off the block was the US but it gave up because inherently American governments have an allergic reaction with re-processing of nuclear waste in addition because USA has enough supplies of fissile material there's absolutely no appetite to maximally extract energy from stone.
Japan and France both had strong agendas with fast breeder technology but repeated failure to securely manage fluid sodium compelled them to more or less give up on fast reactors.
China is more than a decade behind India in trying to learn this intricate beast.
Russia invested heavily in developing the fast breeder technology but since it commissioned its initial fast breeder reactor BN 600 in 1980 it suffered an economic meltdown as the former Soviet Union broke up and only recently Russia could gather enough resources to finish its upgraded fast breeder reactor BN 800. A trip to the center reveals a reactor that is squeaky clean where experienced operators such as Ivan Sidrow are experimenters as they go about trying to design a larger 1200 MW fast breeder reactor.
India's PFBR is unique and rather distinct from the Russian fast breeder reactor though both use the same basic principle of physics.
Fast breeder reactors are called these not because they operate quicker but because the neutrons that maintain the nuclear chain reaction travel at a much greater speed than neutrons that help run the classic atomic plants.
All these are known as breeders as they generate more fuel than they consume a fact difficult to fathom because they seem to defy the laws of conservation of energy.
But a unique quirk of elemental uranium makes this possible.
Nuclear reactors use a flavor of stone called U-235 which regrettably constitutes a minuscule amount even in super purified uranium.
The larger component is what's known as U-238 this flavor is the bulk but is a waste product of the nuclear reaction can't be sustained by this elemental flavor.
In a fast breeder reactor the very special fast neutrons interact with the so-called wasted stone U-238 and converts it into a precious resource. This is fast breeders are comparable to an 'Akshaya Patra'.
India's fast breeder reactor is even more exceptional as inside it the nation also deploys special poles of thorium that when they get exposed to or irradiated by fast neutrons they generate U-233 and a commonly benign thorium becomes a precious atomic material.
It's well-known that India is extremely energy hungry as well as economic growth occurs mega quantities of electricity will be required.
Unfortunately, nature hasn't been bountiful on India as the Indian land mass is not endowed with enough uranium but on the other hand that the country has the world's second largest store of thorium.
Today the nation in a well thought out plan is mastering fast breeder reactors which can be a successful via networking for utilizing the vast thorium reserves.