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DAE

Webserver Date: 26-April-2017

Nuclear India

 
 
 
Published by the
Department of Atomic Energy
Government of India
VOL.34/NO. 11-12/May-June 2001

 

 

Rajasthan Atomic Power Station 3 & 4 Dedicated to Nation

 

Situated at Rawatbhata, District Chittorgarh, Rajasthan, the Units 3 & 4 of the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS-3 & 4) were dedicated to the nation on March 18, by the Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Tracing the history of the RAPS, the Prime Minister said that in spite of sanctions imposed on us following Pokhran, we had continued on the path of development. He praised the scientists/engineers for the excellent work done and promised to extend full support for setting up more nuclear reactors at Rawatbhata. Admiring the safety record, he said that public confidence in nuclear energy was demonstrated by the fact that not a single letter was received by his office opposing nuclear energy. The Minister Smt. Vasundhara Raje explained the non-electricity applications of nuclear technology and particularly referred to the Dai Kit developed by the Department and how it could reduce infant mortality. The Minister Shri Suresh Prabhu complimented the engineers and technical staff associated with the project. He said that we have to add 10, 000 MWe of installed capacity every year from all sources and DAE should add 2000 megawatt installed capacity every year. Shri Anshuman Singh, Governor, Rajasthan and Shri Pradhyuman Singh, Finance Minister, Rajasthan, spoke on the occasion and emphasized the need to set up four more nuclear power plants at Rawatbhata.

 

RAPS-3 achieved criticality on December 24, 1999 and was declared commercial on June 1, 2000. RAPS - 4 was made critical on November 3, 2000 and commercial on December 23, 2000. Since then these units have been operating satisfactorily.

 

The Rajasthan site had two pressurized heavy water reactors commissioned in the seventies. Recently the rehabilitation and safety upgradation process was carried out to increase their longevity. With the commissioning of another two units and a Heavy Water Plant operating nearby, Rawatbhata has become the largest nuclear centre of the country.

 

An important aspect of the Rajasthan Units 3 & 4 is the significant reduction in the commissioning period. Against 854 days taken from hydro-test to commercial operation in Kakrapar Atomic Power Station Unit-2, the period has been reduced to only 161 days in RAPS-4. This was part of the exercise to reduce gestation period of the nuclear power stations to 5 years or less.

 

The new units are indigenously designed, constructed, commissioned and being operated by Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd.(NPCIL). The advance design of new units incorporates state-of-the-art technology and conforms to national and international safety standards. It uses concept of defence-in-depth, redundancy, diversity and ‘fail-safe’ philosophy. The Plant has double containment around the reactor with dome-inside-dome concept and is provided with two fast-acting shutdown systems, improved version of high pressure emergency core cooling and a most advanced state-of-the-art computerized control and monitoring system developed by NPCIL and other units of DAE. The design also safeguards against postulated low probability external events such as flooding of site and severe earthquakes. Different type of cooling towers have been used to prevent thermal and unlikely radioactive releases to the lake.

 

NPCIL’s plant performance has been on the upswing during the last five years. The fourteen nuclear units with a total capacity of 2720 MWe have been operating close to the world level. The average capacity utilization of these units was 80% during the last financial year (1999-2000) and 80% plus during the current financial year.

 

NPCIL is now preparing to expand its installed base at a fast pace to meet the commitment of 20, 000 MWe or more by year 2020. Two units 500 MWe are in advance construction stage at Tarapur (Maharashtra). For another two units of 220 MWe each at Kaiga (Karnataka) and two units of 1000 MWe each at Kudamkulam (Tamil Nadu), pre-construction activities have commenced.

 

Operating Units of the DAE Maintain their Excellent Performance

 

The major operating units of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) continued to maintain their excellent performance during the fiscal year ending March 2001, by meeting their targets and also significantly improving upon their previous year’s performance. In the core area of nuclear power generation, a record production of about 17, 050 Million Units (MUs) of electricity was achieved. This was nearly 30% more than the nuclear power generated in the previous year. The nuclear power reactors of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) of DAE, achieved an annual average capacity factor (or Plant Load Factor) of over 82%. Due to this excellent performance, NPCIL expects to earn a net profit of about Rs 1030 crore during the year. However, like other major power utilities, the company continued to face the problem of recovering its dues, which amount to over Rs 2000 crore from the various State Electricity Boards (SEBs)

 

Of the other three PSUs of the Department, the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL), which mines and processes uranium ores, met its target for the year. The Electronic Corporation of India Limited (ECIL), which had been facing problems in the past made a remarkable turnaround and achieved a record gross sales of about Rs 560 crore, representing a 26% increase over the previous year. As a result, the company expects to earn a modest profit of Rs 10 crore for the year. The fourth PSU of the Department, Indian Rare Earths Limited (IREL) also exceeded its sales target for the year and its sales of Rs 260 crore during 2000-2001 represented a 21% increase over the previous year. The sales included a record export of over Rs 100 crore and the company expects to make a profit of over Rs 40 crore during the year.

 

Of the three Industrial Units of the Department, both the Heavy Water Board (HWB) and the Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC), not only significantly exceeded their production targets, but also improved upon their previous year’s performance. The production of heavy water reached a five year high and the plants at Kota, Thal and Manuguru achieved their highest ever production to date. Similarly, the production of nuclear fuel bundles at the NFC exceeded its target by nearly 17% and was also the highest ever to date.

 

All these units of DAE have set ambitious targets for the year 2001-2002 and expect to maintain their excellent performance record in the years to come.

 

Chairman, AEC Visits Uranium Corporation of India Limited

 

Dr. Anil Kakodkar, Chairman, AEC visited the Uranium Mines, Uranium Mill, Environmental Survey Lab and other facilities of the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL), Jaduguda (Jharkhand) during April 4-5, 2001. He inaugurated the newly built underground Ore Crushing and Hoisting System at the Narwapahar Mine. He also inaugurated the Radon & Radiation Dosimetry Lab of the Environmental Survey Laboratory at Jaduguda. While addressing the officials of UCIL, Dr. Kakodkar emphasized on the importance of the role of UCIL in the nuclear power programme of the country. He also stressed that for making nuclear power competitive, the fuel cost has to be reduced for which UCIL has to take effective measures. He was briefed by Shri Ramendra Gupta, Chairman cum Managing Director, UCIL about the measures being taken towards cost reduction such as energy conservation, manpower reduction and inventory control.

 

Energy Management in Heavy Water Plants

H. S. Kamath
Chairman, Heavy Water Board

 

 

Introduction

 

Per capita consumption of electricity is considered to be an index of the level of development of any nation. While the present installed electricity generation capacity in our country shows a fiftyfold increase since independence, our per capita electricity consumption is one eighth of the world average. One unit of electrical energy saved at the point of consumption is equivalent to adding more than three units of installed capacity. Considering the large capital required for creation of installed capacity for generation of electricity and environmental impact, it is necessary that the electrical energy that is generated, should be utilized most efficiently.

 

As all industries require energy, especially the electrical energy as one of the basic inputs, it is very important that we treat this form of energy respectfully. Also with globalization of economy, it is essential to remain competitive in the world market. All this requires more energy efficient technologies in manufacturing activities, which in turn involves additional capital expenditure. Energy management and conservation will thus go a long way in allowing the optimized consumption of energy and indirectly adding to the installed capacity of the nation.

 

Heavy Water Production – Energy Intensive Process

 

Heavy water is present in natural water in ppm levels (about 144 ppm) and due to its isotopic nature it is extremely difficult to separate from normal water. Thus, low abundance of heavy water coupled with a very poor separation factor (concentration of deuterium in liquid phase to that in vapour phase, ) make the heavy water production an extremely difficult task. Not only the plants are highly complex in their configuration, they are highly energy intensive too. Though there are various processes for the production of heavy water, basically the Heavy Water Board (HWB) concentrated on two major process for its production. They are hydrogen sulphide-water (H2S-H2O) bi-thermal exchange process and ammonia- hydrogen (NH3 -H2 ) mono-thermal exchange process. The average energy consumption figures (design figures) for the two main technologies followed in India are given below.

 

Table-1

 

Sr. No Process Sp. Energy Consumption Locations
1. H2S-H2O 45 GJ/kg Kota, Manuguru
2. NH3 -H2 33 GJ/kg Tuticorin, Thal, Hazira, Baroda*

 

* Currently under revamping through NH3–H2O Front End Technology.

 

Energy consumption is thus 45 giga Joule (GJ)/kg in case of hydrogen sulphide-water exchange (H2S-H2O) exchange process while it is 33 GJ/kg in case of NH3–H2O exchange process. In terms of equivalent steam consumption, 45 GJ/kg refers to approximately 17 tonnes of high pressure steam (30 kg/cm2 ) per kg of heavy water. In terms of cost, the bi-thermal process works out cheaper since 65% of the total energy is in the form of steam which is supplied either through a captive power plant (HWP-Manuguru) or a nuclear power station (HWP-Kota) while 80% of energy in case of monothermal is in the form of electrical power. Thus a GJ in case of bithermal costs about Rs 120, while it costs more than Rs 250 in case of monothermal process.

 

Importance of Energy Conservation in HWPs

 

In the Indian energy scenario where there is a shortage of electricity to the tune of 11% and 8% in terms of peak power demand and units of energy demand respectively and cost of electrical energy is high, the importance of energy conservation cannot be over emphasized. Special efforts are called for in energy intensive process industries towards energy conservation. Scope for reduction in energy consumption has to be continuously explored. In case of heavy water even 1% reduction in specific energy consumption results in annual saving of Rs 2.7 crore. Heavy water contributes anything between 15% to 30% towards the cost of generation of nuclear power depending upon vintage of the plant. Considering the fact that energy constitutes 70% of the works cost in production of heavy water, energy conservation in heavy water plants becomes important.

 

HWB’s Achievements in Energy Conservation

 

Energy conservation in Heavy Water Board meant conservation of all forms of energy and not electrical energy alone, which is a common misnomer related to energy conservation. Once the heavy water plant operations stabilised after overcoming initial technical problems, the emphasis shifted from "producing heavy water at any cost" to "producing heavy water at least cost". With this paradigm shift each plant was asked to identify modifications, which could result in energy conservation and thus cost reduction. This involved a thorough study of each of the equipment, process and utility systems, Areas where there is scope of energy conservation was identified and cost benefit analysis was carried out. At the same time, attention was focused on reoptimization of operating parameters that would result in minimum specific energy consumption. Re-fixing the operating temperatures for isotopic exchange towers in the H2S-H2O based plants was done as a part of this exercise. Study of stand by availability and idle time of the equipment was also carried out. Reducing the idle running of rotating equipment, paying special attention to the maintenance of heat transfer equipment such as heat-exchangers and cooling towers to improve their performance and several other steps were taken. Once all these areas having potential for energy conservation were identified, immediate corrective actions were initiated and completed in time bound manner with proper feedback reviews.

 

As a result of multipronged efforts on energy conservation, the specific energy consumption has shown a continuous downward trend in the last five years as shown in Fig.1.

 

 

During the financial year 1999-2000, the specific energy consumption (weighted average of all the plants) has been lower by about 13.12% compared to the best achieved during the previous years. For the year 2000-01, the specific energy consumption has been further reduced by 6%. Efforts are continuously on for further reducing the specific energy consumption. It is estimated that a further 10% reduction in specific energy consumption is possible in next 2-3 years with certain capital investment, which will have a very small pay back period. Cost of production (works cost) per kilogram of heavy water and energy costs per kilogram of heavy water for the last few years is shown in Fig 2.

 

 

The increase in works cost is mainly on account of increase in electrical tariff ranging from 5% to 65% over the last five years and also increase in salaries and wages and general escalation in the cost of other inputs. Fig.2 also shows the trend in energy cost per kilogram of heavy water in each year in case energy conservation measures had not been implemented to bring down the specific energy consumption. From this figure the amount saved each year on account of energy conservation measures can be easily calculated. The total amount saved in the last five years because of adopting energy conservation measures works out to Rs 55.4 crore and its total worth in 1998-99 works out to Rs 63 crore. A conservative estimate of the savings in the operational cost of heavy water plants due to energy conservation measures would be around Rs 100 crore since 1999-2000.

 

Fig. 3 shows the trend in cost of production (works cost) as well as energy costs per kilogram of heavy water produced for the last five years at 1994-95 prices and wages. This figure clearly shows the impact of energy conservation measures during the last five years and the total amount that could have been saved had the unit energy cost as well as unit costs of other inputs remained at 1994-95 level.

 

Methodology adopted for Energy Conservation

 

To implement any such energy conservation measures, a well defined energy policy is extremely important. In the HWB management took a decision to formulate an energy policy and a matching action plan for its implementation. The energy policy was translated into specific objectives and these objectives were also made known to all the people concerned. The energy policy stated in the case of HWB is to pay focused attention to all the aspects of plant operation and maintenance activities with a view to reduce energy consumption and also identify and implement plant modifications that can result in energy saving with specified limit on pay back period for the capital invested. The year 1999-2000 was declared as "energy conservation year" with a target of reduction in overall specific energy consumption by 10% over the best-achieved earlier.

 

A well defined organizational structure for energy conservation was set up. An apex body headed by Chief Executive, HWB and comprising senior officers from central office and a coordinator to coordinate between central office and various Heavy Water Plants. At every site, a monitoring body was also identified along with a local coordinator. Simultaneously, awareness programs for all the employees were organized in the form of workshops where experts from various fields of energy conservation were invited to discuss with the employees. At the plant level, the implementation of the energy conservation is primarily vested with the General Manager. All of these were backed up by the technical services group at the plant and design engineers from central office.

 

Area Identification

 

As a first step, it was decided to identify the areas where energy is getting wasted and where the scope exists for energy conservation. Each and every energy consuming equipment, systems and utility were critically analyzed for their energy consumption pattern and scope for reduction in energy consumption reviewed in terms of system modifications, operating parameters, equipment design, etc. This exercise brought out the following major factors contributing to avoidable excess energy consumption:

  1. Plant trips and downtime due to equipment failure and instrument malfunctioning.
  2. Fouling of heat transfer equipment.
  3. Lack of operator attention to parameters having bearing on production and energy consumption.
  4. Energy losses through leakages in utility systems, poor condition of thermal insulation, high temp. of flue gases, excessive blow down, etc.
  5. Operation of rotating equipment at off best efficiency points.
  6. Running additional pumps and compressors to take care of the trips of one of the running equipment.

Based on such energy audits on individual equipment, systems, action plans were initiated to identity corrective actions and implement the same. Post implementation continuous monitoring on a daily and a monthly basis was set up and any abnormalities found in energy consumption pattern were analyzed and immediate corrective actions were taken.

 

Conclusion

 

Energy conservation measures are a continuous process. It is an habit formation. It not only involves focused attention on all the operating equipment, systems and utilities, their operating parameter monitoring, but also involves motivating and training manpower responsible for such operation and maintenance. The attitude of the O & M staff towards energy conservation measure has to change and then only habit formation can take place. Such change in attitude generally flows from top management to the working level. It involves total commitment towards the slogan "Energy saved is Energy produced".

 

Tata Memorial Centre: A Profile

Dr. Ashok Mohan
Advisor to Director TMC & Programs Coordinator

 

 

The Beginning

 

Lady Meherbai Tata, the first lady of the house of Tatas had died of leukemia in 1932, after treatment abroad. Sir Dorabji was stirred to do something about the treatment of cancer. Just at that time, Sir Frederick Sykes, Governor of Bombay, discussed a plan with Sir Dorabji to establish a radium service in the city. As originally envisaged, the scheme was for the purchase of 400 mg of radium and an endowment for its upkeep. Details were being worked out when Sir Dorabji died in June of 1932.

 

Sir Nowroji was eager to launch a comprehensive cancer institute. In this he was supported by J. R. D. Tata. By 1936 it was estimated that the initial expense on the Hospital would be Rs 11 lakhs with an annual expenditure of Rs 2 lakhs. Finally the total capital grant for the hospital & equipment was over Rs 31 Lakhs.

 

The Hospital, a magnificent seven storeyed structure was opened on February 28, 1941, by the Governor of Bombay, Sir Roger Lumley. At the opening ceremony of the Hospital, the then Chairman of the Dorabji Tata Trust, Sir Sorab Saklatvala, observed that the Tata Memorial Hospital was meant to be a temple of learning, where doctors and research students would work ‘to wrest from this dreaded scourge some of its terrible secrets.’

 

 

TMC: The Genesis

 

From 1941 to 1948, the Trust ran the Hospital entirely on its own. In 1949, the Bombay Government sanctioned an annual donation of Rs 1 lakh. Seventy five percent of the patients were treated free and by 1957, the Dorabji Tata Trust had granted Rs 1 crore to this Hospital. As the activities of the Hospital grew, it was handed over to Government of India in 1957 to be managed by the Ministry of Health. Later, in 1962 the Tata Memorial Hospital was handed over to the Department of Atomic Energy which was then under the inspired leadership of r. Homi Jehangir Bhabha. In addition to the Hospital, the Indian Cancer Research Centre, now the Cancer Research Institutewas set up in 1952 by the Government of India in the same premises. Later, in 1966, the Hospital and the Institute were merged under the flag of the Tata Memorial Centre with the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission as the Chairman of its Governing Council, the Dorabji Tata Trust having three representatives on the Council.

 

What started as a 80 bed hospital in about 15360 sq. meter area has become a 432 bed hospital occupying 53890 sq. meter. The annual budget has gone from Rs 50 lakh (1962) to Rs 90 crore (1999). The patient load is immense and ever increasing.

 

There are about 400 students undergoing training every year in medical and nonmedical fields in long and short term courses and over 200 professionals obtain short term training. About 70 faculty members are recognized as guides in the universities for Ph.D. work. Whenever help is required anywhere in India to start a cancer hospital or a cancer wing in a general hospital, the Tata Memorial Centre plays its appropriate role in providing the know-how.

 

Augmented Present Strength

 

The primary activities of the Tata Memorial Centre are diagnosis, therapy and research in cancer as well as training and education, with an objective to provide the highest standard of patient care.

 

Over the years the importance of preventive activities has been realized. TMC is making a special effort in this areaand is reaching out to rural areas as well.

 

Treatment of Linear Accelerator Clinac-2100C

 

TMC’s expertise has been further strengthened with the installation of major equipment such as the MRI, X-ray machines, Mammography, Orthopantograph X-ray and Ultrasonography machines in the Department of Radiology. A Clinac 2100 C/D Linear Accelerator with stereo tactic Radio Surgery and radio therapy was also installed and commissioned with total networking for delivering radiation therapy treatment.

 

Diagnosis by Magnetic Resonance Imaging

 

Kitchen was augmented with modern equipment. The Central Sterilization and Supply Department was renonated with 4 state-of-the-art Sterilizers, etc. The air-conditioning systems for the diagnostic and therapy areas as well as part of the wards were also augmented. A Hydroclave Waste Management Facility was inaugurated on September 10, 1999.

 

New Minimal Access Operation

 

Through a Computerized Management Information System and complete networking, online transactions are being made for patients administration, materials management and other similar activities. The new Digital Library captures Cancer related information from the scanned archival documents, multimedia CDs and the Web. This is fed through the existing network. More comprehensive facilities for telemedicine and teleconsultation are being developed. A telepathology link with a rural outreach at Barshi is being used to make the high level of expertise at TMH available to villages.

 

A grant was given by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through International Agency for Research on Cancer of WHO, for starting a collaborative project on "Cervical Cancer Prevention" with TMH Rural Cancer Project at Barshi. In view of the importance it gives to alleviation of cancer in rural population, TMC continues its financial and technical support to the project at Barshi. The First Rural Outreach programme for early diagnosis and therapy started by the Centre at Barshi is continued by the Nargis Dutt Memorial Cancer Hospital (Aswini Cancer Research and Relief Society), Barshi with the support of the TMC.

 

The Centre has, for the first time in India, performed placement of an expandable metallic colon stent for palliation of colon cancer, placement of double stent for tracheo-oesophageal fistula in collaboration with thoracic service and Endoscopic Ultrasound guided Fine Needle Aspiration of pancreatic and mediastinal tumors. A biaxial hip joint has been developed and trials on the amputee patients were successful. This unique joint is not made elsewhere in India and enables the patients to squat, sit cross legged, ride a bicycle and walk unaided on uneven terrain.

 

Clinical Activities

 

During 1999-2000, 22, 446 new cases were registered. In addition, 7556 Referral Cards were issued for investigations such as mammography, pathology, etc. The clinical activities of TMH are summed up in the following table.

 

Lab. Investigations/Clinical activities during the year 1999
No. of patients registered 22,446
No. of Referral Cards 7,556
No. of Admission 11,463
Pathological Investigations 8,21,909
Microbiological Investigations 19,844
Transfusion Medicine 1,58,596
Endoscopy & Therapeutic Endoscopy 2,400
Radiological Investigations 51,128
Surgery 9,350
Anaesthesia 22,427
Radiotherapy & Medical Physics 14,186
Bone Marrow Transplant 30
Occupational therapy 2,542
Patients treated at
Borges Memorial Home 627
Speech Therapy 478
Stoma Care 1978
Dept. of Preventive Oncology
No. of new cases registered 3285
Follow up cases 3968

 

International Collaboration

 

Currently and in the recent past, there have been several important international collaborations. Studies were conducted in collaboration with National Cancer Institute(NCI), USA for treatment of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Collaboration was established with the International Agency for Research in Cancer (IARC), France on an epidemiological study for neoplasms of the lung and lymphatic and haemoppoetic system. A large cohort study to detect early cancers in women is undertaken which is supported by the National Health Institute(NIH)washington.

 

After-Completion-of-Therapy (ACT) Clinic

 

Life threatening- disease in children and its treatment, cause acute stress and trauma not only to the patient but also to the entire family. The problem gets compounded in a third world country because of constraints on resources. With the advances in the treatment of cancers, the survival rates have increased dramatically.

 

A follow up clinic was initiated at the Tata Memorial Hospital as long back as Feb. 1991. This unique clinic was appropriately named ACT (After Completion of Therapy) to emphasize that a lot needs to be done beyond therapy to achieve "CURE" in its true perspective in Paediatric Oncology. The clinic:

  1. Monitors growth, development and sexual maturation of survivors
  2. Monitors late effects of therapy and apply corrective measures wherever feasible.
  3. Addresses psychosocial problems of the survivors
  4. Rehabilitates and helps them to get into the mainstream of society
  5. Endeavors to obviate/minimize late effects

The children who have had disease free survival for at least 2 years after cessation of therapy, are enrolled at the clinic. The Tata Memorial Hospital has now has 450 survivors inducted in the clinic. A comprehensive medical, neuropsychologicaland social evaluation is performed at the time of registrationand annually thereafter.

 

The ACT clinic uses a team approach to understand and help the survivor. The Paediatric Oncologist, Clinical Psychologistand a Medical Social Worker form a core group. The findings suggest that survivors who attend the clinic come from diverse backgrounds in terms of culture, age, types of cancers, socioeconomic strata and urban and rural setup. Each case is looked into individually and counseling is given to the parents and the child. practical ways are found to help the child.

 

The parents use the ACT platform to vocalize their fears, hopes and aspirations. A bond is built over the yearsand keeping the child’s personality/strength in mind, a rehabilitation plan is chalked out. Some patients need just a few words of encouragement, while others need intervention in a major way. Parents also need counseling. Most parents look forward to a continued interaction, which in turn has facilitated follow up and minimized drop out. This gives a chance to the medical team to monitor the medical aspects which would probably have gone unnoticed had the patient not been particular about attending the general OPD year after year, as is the tendency once the fear of relapse is crossed.

 

Invitation to participate in multicentric research studies is an international recognition of the clinical excellence that has come to be expected from this Centre. The Clinical Research Secretariat assists in the execution and co-ordination of all these research activities, after review and sanction by the Scientific Review Committee and Ethics Committee. Other international collaborations for teaching and training with WHO, UICC and IAEA have also been flourishing.

 

In the basic research major collaborative programs are under way.

 

Price for Progress

 

Preventive Oncology

 

It is estimated that there are approximately 2 to 2.5 million cases of cancer in the country at any given point of time. Presently the most commonly encountered cancers in India are those related to tobacco use in men i.e. oral cavity (3, 00, 000 cases each year), in larynx, pharynx, lung & oesophagus. In women, the most common cancers are cervical (1, 00, 000 cases each year), breast (80, 000 cases each year), oral cavity, oesophagus and stomach. A large proportion of these cancers are amenable to both primary and secondary prevention since they are related to life style.

 

The cancer toll in developing countries like Indiais due to the fact that over 70% of cases are detected late and report for treatment in very advanced stages. Hence emphasis on early detection would go a long way in dealing with the large numbers as well as for reducing the suffering and financial burden.

 

Apart from the pain and misery cancer inflicts on the patient as well his family, the economic impact of this disease is catastrophic. For example, it costs about Rs 3.5 lakhs, to treat one tobacco related cancer. This gives the idea of financial impact that can be made by investments in prevention and early detection.

 

Secondary prevention measures like early detection find cancers or their precursors at a stage when they are small, localized and comparatively easy to cure. Effective detection programs have been developed for oral, cervical and breast cancer. Specially as these cancers occur at sites which are easily accessibleand hence can be successfully treated if detected early.

 

Special procedures may be used for examination of asymptomatic patients and people can be taught to look for the signs and symptoms of these three cancers in their own bodies. In the ultimate analysis, this may well be the major weapon to deal with the numbers envisaged. To further augment this effort, at least to begin with, primary prevention and early detection could focus on high risk groups.

 

Beyond Therapy

 

Medical Social Service Department provided guidance to as many as 13230 new patients last year. Chemotherapy drugs at concessional rate were given to 4160 cases. Rail/Air/ST concession forms were issued to 66480 patients. Accommodation was arranged for 3485 patients from outside of Mumbai and transportation was provided to 1920 cases. Guidance and Counseling are extended to many patients as well as their relatives.

 

The Department of Nursing extended nursing care to indoor patients including Day Care wards. The patient clinics for Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Psychology, etc. extended support to the patients with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of life. The Stoma Clinic provided comprehensive care to patients with Stomas, Fistulas, Pressure sores, incontinence and wound healing problems.

 

Presently the Tata Memorial Centre has organized a Home Care team to visit those terminally ill patients who reside in Mumbai. The team consists of a medical doctor, a trained nurse, a medical social worker and a volunteer.

 

ALL Clinic

 

A good axiom in research is to make a difference in a field where it matters. One such case in TMH has been in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). This constitutes 35% of all pediatric cancers seen at TMH. It is also here that the cure rate has increased significantly from less than 10% in seventies to 68% today. The protocol used is specially designed in collaboration with National Cancer Institute, USAand is particularly relevant for conditions in the developing countries. The experience has helped to anticipate possible complications. The visible impact is that in the last decade the disease free and event free survivals have gone up by 20 percent. This protocol has now become the gold standard in India and in fact, in this part of the subcontinent.

 

600 patients that have been cured are followed up systematically to see if there are any residual long term effects of the treatment and effort is being made to prevent them from occurring.

 

Young Cancer patients with Honorable Governor of Maharashtra Dr. P.C. Alexander, on Children's Day

 

Research

 

The Cancer Research Institute(CRI) which has been conducting research on all the facets of cancer. Research is focused specially on frontline fields using the latest technology.

 

Research activities cover a very wide spectrum and include areas such as life styles in relation to cancer patterns, environmental carcinogenesis – both chemical and viral, cancer immunology, cell and molecular biology with special emphasis on oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes and chemotherapy. There are groups working on development of new laboratory models for human cancers. Clinical research is conducted, using a multidisciplinary approach, in collaboration with clinicians at the TMH, mainly on cancers prevalent in India such as tobacco linked oral cancers and cancer of the cervix.

 

The Institute has achieved the distinction of being the first in the country to:

  1. Develop transgenic mice
  2. Carry out research on Human Gene Therapy
  3. Cultivate HIV virus from Indian AIDS patients and to develop a diagnostic kit

ACTREC

 

The Tata Memorial Centre (TMC) is constructing the Advanced Centre for Treatment, Research and Education in Cancer (ACTREC) Panvel, at Owe village, Navi Mumbai. The Centre has two wings for basic and clinical research. The basic research wing will be nucleated by shifting the present Cancer Research Institute (CRI) from Parel to Navi Mumbai. The present CRI has kept abreast of the advances in cancer research and has oriented its facilities and trained its scientists in frontline technologies. However, the laboratories are constrained by lack of space. Basic research at ACTREC will focus on frontline areas such as vector development, gene therapy, basic immunology, immunotherapy, molecular genetics, molecular epidemiology, drug development and other areas that have been initiated only in the very recent past. The Clinical Research Centre at ACTREC will have 48 beds with latest diagnostic and therapy facilities. Its collocation with the basic research centre will be aimed at bringing the benefits of research to the patient speedily.

 

TIFR Develops a Novel Algorithm for NMR Assignments in Protein

 

K. V. R. Chary
Department of Chemical Sciences
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research

 

 

The phenomenon of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) involves large assemblies or ensemble of nuclei which possess a non zero spin angular momentum (hydrogen-1, carbon-13, nitrogen-15, phosphorus-31, etc.). Such nuclei, when placed in a large static magnetic field, split in their spin energy levels and the transition between these levels can be induced by an external energy source. Since the discovery of this phenomenon in 1946, the developments in magnetic resonance technologies have been having profound impact on chemistry, biology, material sciencesand medicineand have brought NMR spectroscopy to the forefront of structural biology.

 

Today, NMR is used to elucidate the three dimensional structures of large biological molecules. NMR studies on biomolecules are based on two important facts:

  1. Protons (nuclei of hydrogen atoms or that of the same element) in different chemical environments in the molecule give rise to distinct "chemically shifted" spectral lines.
  2. Protons in close vicinity, interact through two different types, the indirect, electron-coupled spin-spin (or through bond) interaction and, the other direct dipole-dipole (or through space) interaction. For example, in the proton (1H) NMR spectrum of a protein consisting of 1000 protons, one has to account for 1000 "chemically shifted" spectral lines.

 

Determination of the individual chemical shifts (or the frequencies) of all nuclei present in a protein is called sequence specific resonance assignments.

 

The sequence specific resonance assignments constitute an essential step in the 3D structure determination of proteins. In recent years, a number of double and triple resonance experiments have been proposed to carry out these assignments in isotope labeled proteins. However, for large proteins, manual assignment of these complex spectra becomes a tedious and a time consuming task. This has led to an increasing demand for the development of algorithms for automation of sequence specific resonance assignments. In this direction, a novel automated approach for the sequence specific NMR assignments of protein backbone spins has been developed at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR). The algorithm, TATAPRO (Tracked AuTomated Assignments in Proteins) utilizes the protein primary sequence and peak lists from a set of triple resonance spectra. The information derived from such data set is used to create a ²master_list² consisting of all possible sets of chemical shifts. On the basis of an extensive statistical analysis of chemical shift data of proteins, it is shown that the twenty amino acid residues can be grouped into eight distinct categories. Each of which is assigned a unique 2 digit code. Such a code is used to tag individual sets of chemical shifts in the master_list and also to translate the protein primary sequence into an array called pps_array. The program then uses the master_list to search for neighboring partners of a given amino acid residue along the polypeptide chain and sequentially assigns maximum possible stretch of residues on either side. While doing so, each assigned residue is tracked in an array called assig_array, with the 2 digit code assigned earlier. The assig_array is then mapped onto the pps_array for sequence specific resonance assignment. The program has been tested using experimental data on a calcium binding protein from Entamoeba histolytica (Eh-CaBP, 15 kDa) having substantial internal sequence homology and using published data on four other proteins in the molecular weight range of 18-42 kDa. In all the cases, nearly complete sequence specific resonance assignments (> 95%) are obtained. Furthermore, the reliability of the program has been tested by deleting sets of chemical shifts randomly from the master_list created for the test proteins. The complete sequence specific resonance assignments have been accomplished in three stages, using a separate program at each stage. These programs have been written in ANSI C code and can be compiled on any Unix based workstation or windows based system equipped with a C compiler. The execution time of the program is of the order of few seconds on a R10000 based solid impact workstation (SGI).The program can be obtained from: chary@tifr.res.in

 

News:

 

Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee being Presented a cheque of Rs 1.08 Crore in New Delhi on 26 April 2001, for Gujarat earthquake victims by Dr. Anil Kakodkar, Chairman Atomic Energy Commission, on behalf of the employees of DAE, its constituent organizations, public sector undertakings and aided institutions.

 

NFC Develops High Temperature High Vacuum Heat Treatment Furnace

 

High Temperature High Vacuum Heat Treatment Furnace designed and built by the Nuclear Fuel Complex. The order was bagged by NFC against a stiff global competition for a cost of Rs 1.52 crore (the similar unit if imported would cost about Rs 3.2 crore)

 

The furnace is vertical, cold wall and top loading type which operates at 1300 deg. Celsius temperature and 10-6 torr pressure. The additional features:

  1. Doped Molybdenum strip heating elements
  2. Moly and SS radiation shields
  3. Inert gas circulating system with hermetically sealed blower and heat exchanger
  4. PC/PLC based control system
  5. Hydrogen partial pressure cleaning Residual gas analyzer

 

IRE Receives Enterprise Excellence Award

 

For its financial and operational strengths, M/s. Indian Rare Earth Ltd., Mumbai has been conferred with the IITE Enterprise Excellence Award, 1999-2000 in the Mineral (Extraction) Industry Group.

 

Instituted by the Indian Institution of Indian Engineering, the award is given for excellence assessed under the four perspectives – financial strength, Internal Process, Innovation & Learning and Customer Orientation.

 

OSCOM Exports

 

During December, 2000 OSCOM exported 78, 570 MT its ilmenite products through Gopalpur Port are as follows:

 

Quantity Country
15,000 MT Korea
33,000 MT Norway
30,570 MT UK

 

CMD, NPCIL is WANO-Tokyo Chair Chairman

 

Shri V. K. Chaturvedi, Chairman & Managing Director, NPCILhas been elected unanimously the Chairman of the Governing Council of Tokyo Centre of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) in a meeting of the Governing Board held on 5th April, 2001 in Tokyo, Japan. It is for the first time that India has been elected to this distinguished position.

 

The World Association of Nuclear Operators is an international non government body representing 115 utilities from 34 countries. India is one of the founding members of WANO. All the 438 nuclear reactors operating worldwide are represented in WANO. The world body, with a mission to maximize safety and reliability of power reactorswas established in 1989. WANO operates through its four regional centres at Atlanta, Paris, Moscow and Tokyo and co-ordinating centre at London. The governing board of the each regional centre guides the activities of that centre.

 

The WANO-Tokyo Centre represents 89 nuclear reactors under operation with a capacity of 66, 998 MWe, 18 units under construction with a capacity of 15, 568 MWe in China, India, Japan Korea, Pakistan and Taiwan.

 

Narora Epidemiological Report Released

 

The report, "Effects of low dose ionizing radiation among the employees at the Narora Atomic Power Station: A cross-sectional study" released recently by the Speaker of UP Assembly, Shri K. N. Tripathihas proven that the prevalent cancers among the study population are less than the normal incident rate of cancers registered in India. The survey was carried out by the Department of Community Medicine, J. N. Medical College, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh.

 

The Narora Atomic Power Station situated on the bank of the river Ganga at Narora, district Buland Shahr, Uttar Pradeshhas two units of 220 MWe each. These units became operational in 1989 and 1991 respectively.

 

The objective of the epidemiological survey was to study the biological effects of low dose ionizing radiation on human population. The survey covered 1598 employees of NAPS who work in the radiation field and 1433 spouses and 3746 offsprings of the employees who were not exposed to radiation of nuclear power origin. The survey demonstrated that cancer prevalence in radiation workers was not different from the prevalence seen in nonradiation workers. In fact, the prevalent cancers among the study population were less than the normal incident rate of cancers as registered by the Cancer Registries in India.

 

PC Based Auto TLD Badge Reader(Model TLDBR 7B)

 

Over 100, 000 persons in India work in radiation environment - in nuclear power stations, radiography installations, cancer therapy hospitals, diagnostic X-ray centres, nuclear research institutions, universities, colleges, engaged in harnessing the peaceful uses of ionizing radiation for the benefit of mankind. To ensure the health and safety of these persons it is necessary to periodically monitor the radiation dose received by them and maintain a record.

 

At present, about 41, 000 radiation workers from more than 3000 institutions are being monitored. A PC based auto thermo-luminescence-dosimeter (TLD) badge reader can process up to 50 badges loaded in a magazine at a time. The BARC TLD badge contains an aluminum card holding 3 TLDs sandwiched between energy discrimination filters to distinguish beta, X and gamma radiations. The readout time is 100 sec. per badge and 50 badges are read in about 90 minutes.

 

In the Reader, the aluminum cards containing the TL dosimeters are removed from the badges and loaded in a magazine. The identification number (12 digits) is entered manually through the PC controlling the Reader by using the appropriate software, in the same sequence in which the cards are loaded. The cards are automatically picked up, the three dosimeters of the card are heated one by one and the emitted luminescence is measured using a high performance photomultiplier. The mechanical movements, the readout process and the communication to a PC are controlled by a microcontroller. A hot nitrogen gas heating system is used in the reader for efficient heating of the dosimeters. The output from the light collection system is logged at 1 sec. intervals and the 'glow curve' ( the plot of light emission vs. time ) is plotted on line on the screen in a bar chart form. The readings and the glow curve data are stored in a floppy /hard disk. The reader operations are controlled through the PC console by a user friendly and menu driven software written in 'C'. A random access recall program also has been developed for quick recall of any of the stored data.

 

The BARC of DAE offers the transfer of technical know-how on non-exclusive basis.

For details please contact

Head, Food Technology Division,
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre,
Trombay, Mumbai - 400085
Phone No.: +9122-5505180
Fax: +9122-5505151/5519613

E-mail: rbgrover@magnum.barc.ernet.in

 

 

BARC’s New Director

 

Shri B. Bhattacharjee taking over charge of the post of Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre from Dr. Anil Kakodkar

 

Born on April 11, 1942, Shri B. Bhattacharjee obtained his Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University College of Technology, Kolkata in 1965. He is from the 9th batch of BARC Training School.

 

Shri Bhattacharjee has been the key person for the successful implementation of the project presently known as the Uranium Corporation of India Ltd., Jaduguda, Jharkhand, which is the only uranium mill in the country that supplies the uranium needed for the Indian nuclear power programme. Later he switched over to multidisciplinary research and development activities at BARC, for the development of High Speed Rotor (HSR) technology that was much needed for the production of strategic materials for the country. Development of the highly complex HSR technology from grass root level calls for the best of all the disciplines of engineering and material scienceand development of a host of new technologies/materials that were hitherto not available in the country. Indigenous development of the materials, instruments, components and equipment involved in HSR technology has made this crucial technology in India free from any external control. Design, installation and successful commissioning of HSR technology in the country have not only enabled India to produce some of the materials of strategic importance but also put India amongst the select band of countries in the world which have been able to develop this technology. As spin-offs to HSR technology, this development work has resulted in enhancement of the level of the country’s engineering base in general and that of precision engineering in particular, in addition to the availability of these equipment and stores (which were earlier required to be imported) for consumption in industries outside DAE family. In addition to his responsibility as Project Director of Rare Materials Project, Mysoreand as Director, Chemical Engineering and Technology Group, BARC, Shri Bhattacharjee has also been entrusted with the added responsibility for execution of two projects - each one of which is again the first of its kind in the country - namely the Desalination Plant coupled to nuclear power plantand the Special Materials Project.

 

Shri Bhattacharjee holds the memberships of various professional bodies and the fellowship of the Indian National Academy of Engineering. He is also a recipient of the national award "Padmashree".

 

ECIL's Electronics Voting Machine

 

After extensive research and development, the Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL), a public sector undertaking of DAEhas designed an innovative portable Electronic Voting Machine for conducting elections to the Parliament and State Assemblies. The machine is designed to simplify the election process.

 

It is a microprocessor based instrument which comprises two sub units, namely a control unit and a ballot unit, interconnected by a cable. The voter has to simply press a button to vote in favor of a candidate of his/her choice, when the polling officer releases the balloting button after verification of the voter. The votes polled for each candidate can be displayed immediately after the poll by the press of a button. The required mechanical, electrical and software security features are provided to ensure and protect the integrity of the voting data. The machine is designed to operate for conducting elections to the Parliament and State Assembly simultaneously.

 

In addition to avoiding the huge expenditure involved in printing, storing and transportation of ballot paper, the Electronic Voting Machines are easy to operate and can speed up the election process. The machine ensures that the secrecy of voting data is maintained and there is no scope for invalid votes. It is tamper proof since it incorporates a microchip that has a fused firmware which cannot be altered. The voting data is stored in ‘non-volatile’ memory and the data retention is more than 10 years. It facilitates quick and accurate counting enabling declaration of the results the same day.

 

The Electronic Voting Machine was designed by ECIL at the instance of the Election Commission of India. On recommendation of the Election Commission, the Parliament in December 1988 amended the Representation of the People Act 1951 to provide for the use of Electronic Voting Machines. The machines were evaluated and approved by the Electoral Reforms Committee, appointed by the Central Government in February 1990 and the Technical Experts Committee for technical evaluation of the machines. The commission took a historic decision to go ahead and start use of Electronic Voting Machines for the assembly constituencies in November 1998 spread over three states. The use of machines was a big success and found favor with all concerned. The Election Commission used these machines extensively during the 13th Lok Sabha elections covering 45 parliamentary constituencies across the country. The Commission is now planning to conduct all the future elections using only electronic voting machines.