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Saturday, February 02, 2013

Fast Breeder Reactors 1 And 2 - Improvement In Construction And Engineering

Even as India is building its first large-scale Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor [PFBR], of indigenous design, work on its successor, the Fast Breeder Reactor [FBR], with improved features, is also underway.

Following the construction of the PFBR, at Kalpakkam, two additional breeder reactors [FBR 1&2] would be built, co-located at PFBR site. These nuclear reactors, in addition to generating electricity, would also produce fissile Plutonium, that is needed to convert India's vast deposit of fertile Thorium into something fissile [U-233].
The January newsletter of the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research [IGCAR] states some of the improvements made in its design & engineering, based on experience gained from work done so far, that they state would bring about improvement in performance & safety, along with cost savings.
Some that stand out are the increase in the plant's proposed service life from 40 years for the PFBR to 60 for FBR along with 50% increase in the heat extracted from the radioactive MOX fuel [150 GWd/t, compared to earlier 100 GWd/t].