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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Preparing The Fuel To Power India's Nuclear Programme [Video]

Extracting fissile Uranium & Thorium from the stable Monazite-rich sands found on the beaches of Kerala & Tamil Nadu.

This highly interesting Govt. of India video, made in the 1960s, shows the entire process followed in order to produce nuclear fuel, right from collecting the sand from the beach to final fabrication of the fuel rods used in the reactor. Both, Thorium Dioxide as well as Uranium metal is extracted from it & while the Uranium is drawn in the form of rods, the Thorium is formed into pellets & stacked into tubes for eventual use in the Reactor. Responsibility of fabricating the Aluminium-clad Uranium rods, seen here, for use in the Canada-supplied CIRUS Nuclear reactor, mentioned in the video, was assigned to Dr. Brahm Prakash, who succeeded in making fuel that performed even better than the Canadian one.

courtesy: DangerousLabs

The country has been progressing well, so far, in the field of Nuclear Science & Technology, with there even being reports of India exporting indigenously designed Nuclear Reactors to Bahrain. Interestingly, learnt that India, in the 60s, provided 1/3rd of the world's supply of Rare Earth Metals, the major portion of Monazite's composition. The Nuclear Fuel Complex [NFC], today, supplies fuel needed in all operating Reactors in the country, namely the Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor [PHWR], Boiling Water Reactor [BWR] & Research Reactors. The Plutonium-bearing Fuel for the experimental Fast Breeder Reactors, are presently being fabricated at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre [BARC], so far. Responsibility for mass producing them would likely be given to NFC, to carry out which, they have already begun working on the manufacturing process.



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