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Webserver Date: 23-November-2017

Nuclear India

 
 
 
Published by the
Department of Atomic Energy
Government of India

 

VOL.34/NO.1-2/July-Aug 2000

 

Reactor Unit-3 of RAPP Commences Commercial Power Generation

 

 

With the Unit-3 of the Rajasthan Atomic Power Project (RAPP-3) commencing commercial power generation, Rawatbhata has emerged as the largest atomic power park of the country.

 

The Unit-3, currently producing 100 megawatts, began commercial operations on June 1. Its output will be gradually increased and finally stabilized at its full capacity of 220 MW.

 

The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) has authorized the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) on May 31, 2000 to operate RAPP-3 at full power for a period of 90 days in the first instance.

 

This power reactor which attained criticality on December 24 last year is the twelfth power generation unit of NPCIL. The electricity generation capacities of the first and second reactor units at Rawatbhata are 150 and 200 MWe respectively. The Unit-4 of RAPP, which is under construction is expected to become critical by the end of this year. This will raise the combined electricity generation capacity of all the four reactor units at Rawatbhatta to 790 MWe.

 

Special safety provisions have been incorporated in the third and fourth units of the RAPP. Their designs are in conformity with the international standards.

 

RAPP-3 incorporates safety features such as special double containment, automatic, fast acting liquid poison injection system and microprocessor-based systems for reactor protection and regulationand meets the current international design safety standards.

 

Evolution of Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors in India

 

Sanatkumar
Executive Director (Projects), NPCIL

 

Introduction

 

A three-stage programme is being pursued to develop Nuclear power in India consistent with our unique resource position of limited uranium and large thorium reserves. The first stage of this programme is based on pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWRs) for optimum use of the available uranium resources. These PHWRs not only use natural uranium efficiently but also provide plutonium as a by-product. The plutonium recovered from the spent fuel will facilitate use of our large thorium reserves for power production in subsequent stages of the programme.

 

inspecion

The PHWR technology developed in the country for the 220 MWe units is a commercial success. Ten such units are at present in operation and two more are in final stages of construction and commissioning (Table1). Average capacity factor as high as 80.17%, has been achieved by the operating units during the year 1999-2000, putting us in the league of the best international nuclear power generating utilities. Total capability of design, construction and operation of these plants has thus been successfully demonstrated. Based on this experience, the Nuclear Power Corporation has launched construction of two 500 MWe PHWR units at Tarapur – TAPP 3&4 - in October 1998. The following paragraphs briefly enumerate the history of Evolution of PHWRs in India and provide a glimpse of the indigenous technological potential generated in the process.

 

Plant Rated Capacity Commencement of Commercial Operation
In Operation
RAPS 1 1 x 150 MWe December 16, 1973
RAPS 2 1 x 200 MWe April 1, 1981
MAPS 1 1 x 170 MWe January 27, 1984
MAPS 2 1 x 170 MWe March 21, 1986
NAPS 1&2 2 x 220 MWe January 1, 1991 & July 1, 1992
KAPS 1&2 2 x 220 MWe May 6, 1993 & September 1, 1995
Kaiga 2 1 x 220 MWe Commercial operation since
March 16, 2000
RAPP 3 1 x 220 MWe Synchronized on March 10, 2000
Commercial operation since June1, 2000
Under Commissioning
Kaiga 1 1 x 220 MWe Expected criticality, September, 2000
RAPP 4 1 x 220 MWe Expected criticality, November, 2000
Under Construction
TAPP 3 1 x 500 MWe Expected criticality, July, 2006
TAPP 4 1 x 500 MWe Expected criticality, October, 2005

 

Evolution of PHWRs in India

 

The story of Evolution of PHWRs in India begins with construction and operation of CIRUS, a research reactor at BARC. This reactor being natural uranium (metal) fuelled and heavy water moderated, is genetically a forerunner of the PHWRs which extend the use of natural uranium (oxide) and heavy water to power reactors. CIRUS – a Canadian design, gave us initial fillip in the field of construction, operation and maintenance of heavy water based reactors. Simultaneously, DAE, implemented a policy based on entirely indigenous efforts to master the associated activities of the nuclear fuel cycle namely, mining, processing, fabrication of uranium fuel for CIRUS as well as reprocessing of the discharged fuel to recover plutonium. The process of establishing infrastructural facilities and technologies such as Waste Management, Radiation Protection, etc. essential for operating a nuclear power plant, also got initiated along with the construction of CIRUS. Altogether, these successful ventures provided the foundation for subsequent indigenous PHWR programme.

 

The next step taken was to construct the first power plant of PHWR type near Kota, Rajasthan. The Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS), a twin unit (2 x 200 MWe), is a replica of the Douglas Point Generating Station in Canada, the first PHWR designed by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL). The design of RAPS-1 & 2 was provided by AECL. The construction was taken up by DAE with participation of experts from AECL. The Power Projects Engineering Division (PPED)* was set up under DAE to execute this mission. PPED put in conscious efforts to become conversant with both ‘Why’s’ and ‘How’s’ of the PHWR design. DAE also initiated fabrication development of as many components/equipment in India as possible. For example, fabrication of half the quantity of fuel for the first load in the RAPS Unit-1 reactor (known as ‘half-charge’), by the Atomic Fuel Division, BARC was incorporated as a part of the agreement with Canada. Due mainly to techno-economic considerations obtaining at that time, DAE set up many in-house facilities for production of heavy water, fuel, zircaloy components, equipment and systems for reactor control, radiation monitoring, nuclear waste management, R&D, etc. However, anticipating the growth of industrial infrastructure in our country, a strategy based on the concept of encouraging Indian manufacturers to develop and produce as many of the nuclear and ‘conventional’ equipment as possible was adopted. Meanwhile, in 1974, AECL withdrew from its commitments for the execution of RAPS project. The incomplete construction work of RAPS 2 and subsequent activities were also successfully completed by PPED.

 

*PPED was later to become the Nuclear Power Board (NPB) and subsequently to be transformed again into the present Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL).s

 

The design and engineering of Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS, 2 x 220 MWe) was taken up by PPED, while RAPS was still under construction. Though the basic modules of the MAPS design were identical to those in RAPS, certain new design features were introduced. Prominent amongst these are the vapor suppression and double containment concepts. Another important design feature included was a closed loop process water system, to prevent any accidental release of activity to the ultimate heat sink in case of tube failure in any heat exchanger. These features have been advanced further in subsequent power plants and have become an unique hall mark of Indian PHWRs. Apart from these, in MAPS, the thermal power from the identical reactor core as in RAPS was increased by 15% (from 693 MWth to 800 MWth) through improved neutron flux flattening. The Primary Heat Transport System, Steam Generators and Secondary System were appropriately redesigned to transfer this additional power. The secondary cycle was designed to suit the environmental heat sink conditions at Kalpakkam (MAPS).

 

 

For the design of Narora Atomic Power Station (NAPS, 2 x 220 MWe), PPED/NPB decided to start, literally with a clean slate. The redesign, which covered almost all the systems was carried out based on the experience gained in construction, transportation of heavy equipment and operation of reactors in Indian power grids. Another objective of the successful redesign exercise was to maximize utilization of Indian industrial and infrastructural potentials. At around this time, design concepts for safety features began to emerge in a more standardized form internationally. Thorough and systematic application of such concepts as defence-in-depth, redundancy, diversity, ‘single failure criterion’, etc. was made in evolution of NAPS design. Many fresh R&ampD efforts by BARC and other research institutions and industry were necessitated to prove and finalize the new design concepts. The design parameters for NAPS systems also included anticipated loads that could be imposed due to a postulated severe earthquake, depending on the seismicity of the chosen site. The safety of the plant is ensured for withstanding the possible intensity of earthquake with a return period of 1 in 10, 000 years. Such a rare earthquake is termed as Safe Shutdown Earthquake (SSE) and all safety systems of the plant are designed to withstand such an earthquakeand continue to remain available even after the event, to ensure safety of the plant. The calandria vessel design was modified to accommodate two fast acting diverse shutdown systems. The end shield was modified considerably to simplify its fabrication and transportation. Calandria-end shield assembly was unified to simplify their supports as well as to make the supports capable of withstanding SSE. Primary Heat Transport System incorporated state-of-the-art steam generator design. Moderator system design was simplified. Fuel Handling System was redesigned to withstand SSE and also to provide additional features not only to meet emerging safety philosophy but also to overcome some of the manufacturing and operational problems encountered in RAPS and MAPS. Amongst the safety systems, the NAPS design incorporated two independent diverse fast acting shutdown systems, a high pressure emergency core cooling system and full double containment reactor building with innovative safety features. The regulatory review of each element of design was intense and did provide very useful means to strengthen the concepts. All these efforts produced, what has come to be now known as the standardized Indian PHWR design for 220 MWe reactors. The subsequent plants as schematically shown in Figure 1, evolved based on this standardized design. This figure also shows evolution in containment concepts.

 

The Kakrapar Atomic Power Station (KAPS, 2 x 200 MWe), the Kaiga Projects$ (Kaiga 1&2) and the Rajasthan Atomic Power Project (RAPP 3&4) are essentially repeat of the standardized Indian 220 MWe PHWR design. The design changes subsequently made in KAPS, Kaiga 1&2 and RAPP 3&4 over NAPS have been mostly as dictated by site-specific requirements. Certain improvements in the relative arrangement and layout of buildings have been introduced in Kaiga 1&2 and RAPP 3&4 based on feed back and operational experience obtained from NAPS. Layout at Kaiga 1&2 and RAPP 3&4 has taken into consideration integration of seismically qualified services and buildings. The turbo generator axis is kept normal to reactor building to preclude any missile generated from turbine to fly towards reactor building. An important change introduced in Kaiga 1&2 and RAPP 3&4 reactor buildings has been double dome concept (Figure 1). At NAPS and KAPS the inner containment is designed to have a flat cellular slab at top with steam generators penetrating into secondary containment. The steam generators have been brought fully into the primary containment covered by dome in Kaiga and RAPP 3&4 units. Four openings, one above each steam generator have been provided in the segmented spherical dome to facilitate replacement of steam generator (Figure 2) as part of plant life extension, should such a need arise.

 

The first 500 MWe PHWR-based Tarapur Atomic Power Project (TAPP 3&4) generally incorporates the design features well established in the current 220 MWe designs. Equipment sizes in 500 MWe are however, larger than those in the 220 MWe units. The 500 MWe reactor core is larger than that in 220 MWe. Hence, the reactor physics evaluations of such large cores required special design and analytical efforts to estimate global and local power perturbations during various operating states of the reactor. Based on such characteristics and corresponding physics evaluations, reactor control systems are designed for monitoring local and global power and provide desired control and protection features in this regard. This has been a unique exercise in reactor physics and reactor control design. The design of the 500 MWe units is comparable to that of similar reactors built abroad (Figure 5). The construction of the 500 MWe units at Tarapur has started and is planned to be completed by Year 2005.

 

$ A Reactor Unit of a ‘Project’, when after completion, starts commercial production of electricity, is designated as a ‘Station’ Thus, for example, Kiaga 1 will be referred to as ‘KGS 1’ (for Kaiga Generating Station) and RAPP 3 as RAPS 3.

 

 

Technological Evolution

 

The evolution of PHWR design, its construction and operation as covered above are backed by large number of technological achievements by various units of DAE, consultants and Indian industries (Figure 3) spanning from late 60’s up to the present time. As observed earlier, indigenization of fabrication of nuclear grade equipment has been on the top of the agenda right from our first venture at RAPS. The design of PHWRs has been fully indigenized from MAPS and all major critical equipment for MAPS were fabricated in India. These early initiatives of PPED, units of DAE and the Indian industry have ensured for us technological self-sufficiency. Our nuclear power programme has gone ahead from strength to strength in spite of the control regime, in information exchange and equipment supply, imposed by developed countries from 1974 onwards. It is not possible to describe in mere words the technological freedom and independence we have in the planning of PHWR projects, achieved as a result of significant indigenization of all the requisite technologies in design and manufacture of equipment. Typical types of important special materials, technologies and equipment used in a PHWR are indicated in Figure 4.

 

Some of these key technologies evolved in the country during the process of executing our PHWR programme are highlighted below.

 

 

Theoretical and Computational Expertise

 

The engineering design of a nuclear power plant is highly complex involving multidisciplinary efforts by reactor physicists and nuclear engineers. Various nuclear and heat transfer processes and structural loads have to be accurately modeled and usually, a large number of iterative theoretical computations have to be performed. To do this, computational algorithms and computer codes have to be evolved based on sound understanding of the theory. A host of physical, chemical and engineering properties of the materials used need to be precisely known in order to satisfactorily evolve the design. Due to the very specialized nature of this field of engineering, many of these data and computational techniques are closely guarded and are of a proprietary nature.

 

The components of a nuclear reactor are designed taking into account various factors such as pressure, temperature, other applied loads, seismic load, postulated accident load, effect of degradation of material properties due to irradiation, etc., to satisfy several national and international engineering design standards. Further more, nuclear power plant designs are subject to rigorous review and acceptance by national regulatory authorities as per relevant safety codes and guides. The designer has also to keep in mind many other important factors such as manufacturability, maintainability, provisions to carry out in-service inspection and decommissioning aspects. All aspects of design and calculation methodologies for PHWRs have been indigenously evolved and successfully used.

 

Materials Technology

 

A variety of special materials are required for PHWR construction. The development of technologies for special nuclear materials has been key to our indigenous PHWR programme. For example, processing of materials like uranium, zirconium and heavy water has been fully developed in India and the technology has been translated into production plants which are successfully operating as various units of DAE. The point to be highlighted here is that intricate processing steps of a wide variety of high purity materials and alloys were not only developed at the laboratory scale, but also converted to successful design and operation of corresponding regular production plants. Indeed, establishment of very strong industrial infrastructure in metallurgical and chemical engineering is one of the major technological accomplishments of our self sufficient, long-term nuclear power programme. It may be mentioned that even the concrete mixes used for the Reactor Building and its internal structures are of special formulations such as heavy concrete (shielding), high performance concrete (containment structure), etc., which in turn require great care and attention to detail during design, construction and operation (long term monitoring).

 

 

Manufacturing Technology for Special Equipment

 

The requirement for all equipment used in nuclear power plant to perform with very high reliability can not be over emphasized. In addition, operating environment (such as radiation) imposes additional requirements resulting in certain stringent fabrication and quality standards to be met. For example, heavy water used in coolant and moderator apart from being a costly commodity, also accumulates radioactivity during operation. For both these reasons, process equipment such as pumps, valves, instrumentation fittings, pipe joints, etc. are all to be designed for zero leak. This is a challenge to all the equipment designers as well as suppliers. A recent feather in the cap of Indian industry is the development of large capacity canned rotor pumps for use in 500 MWe PHWRs.

 

Automatically controlled fuelling machines and associated fuel transfer systems are essential features of a PHWR. The fuelling machine heads (Figure 6) are hi-tech robots which open the high pressure boundary of the coolant system, insert fresh fuel bundles at the inlet end of the coolant channel, discharge corresponding number of fuel bundles from the other end and close back the pressure boundary again. In a PHWR these operations are required to be performed daily and hence on-power refueling is essential. The highly radioactive fuel is discharged through a fuel transfer system to an under water spent fuel storage facility. Like the Fuel Handling system equipment, reactivity control mechanisms and shutoff rods which control the insertion of neutron absorbing materials in a precise manner with desired speed of action, have also been successfully developed by Indian industries. For manufacturers, these equipment offer a challenge in precision machining to close tolerances. Successful design, manufacturing and operation of such systems signify the maturity achieved in our country in mechanical engineering and control engineering technologies.

 

In the category of electrical equipment, the Generators and Generator Transformers required for our nuclear power plants are now routinely made in India. Motors for primary heat transport (PHT) pumps for 220 MWe Units have been developed while development of technologies for manufacture of the large sized (6 MWe) motors for the 500 MWe Unit (TAPP 3) is on hand.

 

Some Highlights of 500Mwe PHWR Design are:

  1. Optimized layouts
  2. Double containment
  3. Seismic qualification for buildings and safety related systems
  4. Water-filled calandria vault
  5. Zr-Nb Pr. tube; tight-fit garter spring; zero-clearance rolled joint
  6. Annulus gas monitoring system
  7. Pressurizer for PHT Pr. control
  8. Emergency Core Cooling with high Pr. D2O and H2O injection
  9. Two diverse, independent, fast-acting shut down systems
  10. Mechanical shut-off rods
  11. Liquid poison injection into moderator
  12. Adjuster rod for flux flattening; incore flux monitors
  13. Liquid zone control for bulk and spatial power regulation
  14. Capability for reactor power step-back
  15. 37-element fuel design
  16. Very significant improvements in on-power FHS
  17. Diverse cable routing to mitigate consequences of fire
  18. Computer based systems for reactor control, data acquisition, etc

In the area of Control and Instrumentation, panels, tubings, etc. are now indigenously made. Software is an area where we have made excellent progress. However, the industry in the country has a long way to go in terms of indigenous manufacture and supply of high quality reactor worthy field devices such as and motion control devices and different types of sensors and transmitters.

 

Right from the days of Tarapur Units 1 & 2 in 1964, all major and minor civil structures for all nuclear power projects have been indigenous. Since the time of Rajasthan Units 1 & 2, a unique course has been followed in India in respect of design and construction of nuclear reactor containment structures. As has been covered earlier, the concept of double containment has been progressively developed during the course of implementation of Madras, Narora, Kakrapar and subsequent projects. The contributions of various organizations including design consultants, academic institutions and construction agencies, besides in-house inputs have been truly remarkable.

 

Fig 5: Challenges in the design of PHWR equipment

 

Quality Assurance

 

Needless to say, highest levels of Quality Control, Quality Surveillance and Quality Assurance are to be maintained at all stages and by all agencies – designers, manufacturers, construction and commissioning personnel, as well as operators. Inspection and quality control techniques and procedures that have been developed for fabrication of nuclear components has given substantial boost to overall enhancement of quality in the Indian industry as a whole.

 

Maintainability

 

The radiation environment, particularly close to the reactor core, necessitates the design of the equipment to be such that no major maintenance shall be required during their operating life and that adequate in-service inspection shall be possible. The coolant channel and its associated components are designed such that they can be removed from the core using remotely operated tools and replaced with new parts in a safe manner.

 

Design, manufacture and operation of remote handling tools for inspection are in themselves, very fascinating hi-tech fields. India is amongst the leading PHWR countries to have developed potential in this area. Such special equipment have been successfully used in replacing coolant channels of RAPS-2 and other highly complex repair work at our reactors.

 

Managerial Aspects

 

Evolution of PHWR in India is a success story in design, indigenous manufacture of equipment, construction of plants, their commissioning, operation and maintenance. While limiting ‘success’ only to these areas may be acceptable during the initial phases of development of nuclear technology in India, at the present time, when we have already established a firm manufacturing base, we need to apply a few more factors in evaluating our achievements. For nuclear power to be economical, our present long gestation periods must be shortened. This can be done only through conscious efforts on the part of all of us to meet our commitments to project time schedules and costs. While, we have been making improvements in time and cost management aspects from project to project, total success for completion of a project on schedule as achieved internationally is yet to be demonstrated. We have this as a prominent target for TAPP 3&4.

 

Conclusion

 

Concerted efforts were put in right from inception of nuclear power in India to achieve indigenization of all related technologies for design, construction and operation of a PHWR. Success in this regard was achieved in the early part of the programme. The expertise gained has been effectively deployed to perfect and evolve the standardized design of 220 MWe PHWR to suit Indian infrastructure and industrial potential as well as emerging safety requirements. Successful performance of the operating units validates the maturity achieved in the country in this regard. The 500 Mwe design for TAPP 3&4 incorporates all the assimilated experiences and expertise. Thrust on meeting project time schedules and costs has been growing and now is a prominent goal for TAPP 3&4.

 

NEWS

 

Nuclear Power Status 1999

 

A total of 433 nuclear power plants were operating around the world in 1999, based on data reported to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Power Reactor Information System (PRIS). During 1999, four nuclear power plants representing 2700 MW(e) net electric capacity were connected to the grid, one in France, one in India, one in the Republic of Korea and one in the Slovak Republic.

 

Additionally, construction of seven new nuclear reactors started in 1999 — one in China (plus two in Taiwan, China), two in Japan and two in the Republic of Korea, bringing the total number of nuclear reactors reported as being under construction to 37.

 

The ten countries with the highest reliance on nuclear power in 1999 were: France, 75%; Lithuania, 73.1%; Belgium, 57, 7%; Bulgaria, 47.1%; Slovak Republic, 47%; Sweden, 46.8%; Ukraine, 43.8%; Republic of Korea, 42.8%; Hungary, 38.3% and Armenia, 36.4%. In total, 17 countries and Taiwan, China relied upon nuclear power plants to supply at least a quarter of their total electricity needs.

 

Worldwide in 1999, total nuclear generated electricity increased to 2401.16 terawatt-hours. Cumulative worldwide operating experience from civil nuclear power reactors at the end of 1999 approached 9400 reactor-years (9384 reactor-years).

 

(Status up to 25 April, 2000)

 

New Radioanalytical HPLC Facility at Radiation Medicine Centre, BARC

 

Radiopharmaceuticals labeled with short-lived radionuclides are routinely used in nuclear medicine to diagnose and treat various diseases. Radiopharmaceuticals have to be manufactured, quality tested and administered into patients within a short period of time, as otherwise they become effective. This calls for a system of rapid and efficient quality control testing procedures of radiopharmaceuticals before they are released for use in a nuclear medicine clinic. Paper thin-layer chromatography is the standard radioanalytical techniques employed to assay 99mTc-radiopharmaceuticals and these are extensively used in nuclear medicine. They are cheap but suffer from a few limitations, viz, time consuming, poor resolution of many a radiochemical species, etc. To overcome these lacunae, the better analytical capabilities of High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) are exploited. At the Radiation Medicine Centre (RMC) at Mumbai, a new radio analytical HPLC Facility has become operational. To continuously monitor the radioactivity profile during the elution from the HPLC column, a radiometric detection and monitoring system was developed indigenously. This system is presently in use at RMC, Parel and has been found to be a good import substitute for an expensive radiometric detection system.

 

BARC Newsletter March 2000

 

Excellent Performance by Industrial Units and PSUs of DAE During 1999-2000

 

The year 1999-2000 saw the performance of DAE’s operating units achieving new heights. Most of the organizations achieved their targets.

 

The nuclear power sector, comprising the nuclear power stations, heavy water plants and nuclear fuel fabrication facilities, continued to maintain its growth record of the past few years. Despite no addition to the nuclear power capacity during the past five years - till the very recently commissioned reactors at Kaiga and Rajasthan - gross nuclear power generation in the country touched a record high of over 13, 200 million units (MUs) last year. This marks an average compounded growth rate of about 14% per year since 1995-96. The nuclear power reactors achieved an average plant load factor of nearly 80% and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) earned a record profit of Rs 605 crore from its operations.

 

The production of inputs such as heavy water and fuel to the nuclear power programme also achieved an all time high during 1999-2000. While the heavy water plants at Tuticorin, Kota, Thal and Hazira achieved a five-year high, the indigenous process based Manuguru plant achieved the highest ever production to date. The Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC) at Hyderabad demonstrated a similar performance by achieving the highest ever production of products such as zirconium oxide, zirconium sponge, uranium oxide and nuclear fuel bundles. In fact, the production of nuclear fuel bundles for the pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWRs) has been steadily increased by an average compounded growth rate of 35% per year during past four years. With the commissioning of its new mines at Narwapahar and the addition to its mill processing capacity at Jaduguda, the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL), which achieved 92% of its production target during 1999-2000 is poised to significantly step up its production in the coming years.

 

The other industrial units of DAE also reported very good performance. The Board of Radiation & Isotope Technology (BRIT), which supplies radioisotopes and related equipment to users all over the country for agricultural, medical, industrial and research applications, improved its previous year’s performance by more than 22% and delivered Rs 21 crore worth of products and services. The Indian Rare Earths Limited (IREL), which has production facilities at four locations in the country, also stepped up its sales by 20% and achieved a record sales of Rs 215 crore during 1999-2000. The company’s provisional net profit for the year is estimated at about Rs 26 crore. Despite facing tough market conditions, the Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) managed to reverse its declining sales trend and achieved a record sales of more than Rs 400 crore during 1999-2000, representing a 70% increase over the previous year. The company expects to maintain this trend in the coming years.

 

(DAE Press Release 29 May, 2000)

 

BARC Extends Help in IAEA’s Training Programme

 

Mr. Qian Jillui, Deputy Director General, Head of the Department of Technical Co-operation, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, Austria visited the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and the Board of Radiation and Isotope Technology (BRIT) during May 11-12, 2000. He was accompanied by Mr. Reyad Kamel, Country Officer, East Asia and the Pacific Section, IAEA.

 

Mr. Qian and Dr. Anil Kakodkar, Director, BARC, in the presence of Dr. R. Chidambaram, Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between IAEA and DAE, to strengthen agency’s training programme through the use of training facilities at its centres including BARC and those of other organizations, for training personnel from developing member states, particularly in the fields of nuclear applications in health, industry and agriculture and strengthening radiation protection, nuclear safely, nuclear power and regulatory matters.

 

They visited various R & D facilities of BARC as well as Radiopharmaceutical Laboratories and the Spice Irradiator at Navi Mumbai. Mr Qian was deeply impressed with the work being carried out in DAE in the field of non-electricity applications of nuclear energy and the advanced technologies. He remarked that amongst the developing countries, India has the most comprehensive and advanced nuclear programme and has a good and mature safety record.

 

(DAE Press Release 15 May, 2000)

 

 

Commissioning of Advanced Reactor Using Thorium as Fuel

(Q.No. 168, Rajya Sabha)

 

Question:

(a) Whether it is a fact that an advanced type of heavy water reactor has been designed by the Indian scientists,

 

(b) If so, the extent of electrical energy using thorium as fuel can be produced by the said reactor and

 

(c) By what time the proposed reactor is likely to be ready for commissioning and the cost involved?

 

Answer:

(a) Yes, Sir

(b) 235 MWe of electrical energy.

(c) Preliminary design of the reactor and the feasibility report is at the conceptual stage. Therefore, the completion of the detailed project report will be possible only by the end of the IX Plan. As such, it may not be possible at this stage to indicate the cost estimate and the timing of the commissioning of the reactor.

 

Checking Mishap in Nuclear Installations

(Q.No. 319, Rajya Sabha)

 

Question:

(a) Whether it is a fact that an accident similar to the one that occurred in a uranium processing plant last month in Japan could occur in India?

(b) Whether it is also a fact that the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board had prepared a report in 1995 listing defects in various nuclear installations,

(c) If so, what action government have taken to check any mishap of any kind in the nuclear installations?

 

Answer:

(a) No, Sir. All fuel processing and fabrication plants in India have been constructed after a rigorous safety review of its design and are operated in strict accordance with technical specifications approved by the regulatory body.

(b) Regular assessment of the overall safety of nuclear installations is a common practice among nuclear agencies. All countries which operate nuclear installations make periodic assessments of their safety and implement the necessary modifications and improvements to upgrade their safety status to the maximum extent possible. Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) report prepared in 1995 is in line with the international practice and is a collation largely based on the reports of safety reviews carried out from time to time by AERB and its various committees. Systematic action plan had been drawn up to resolve each of these issues by the unit concerned, in consultation with AERB.

(c) Effective administrative and technical machinery has always been in place to monitor and enforce safety stipulations in the DAE installations to prevent any mishap of any kind in the nuclear installations.

 

Generation of Nuclear Power

(Q.No. 320, Rajya Sabha)

 

Question:

(a) Whether the target of generating of nuclear power has been lagging?

(b) If so, the total nuclear power target fixed during the last 3 years and target achieved,

(c) The reasons for not achieving the fixed target,

(d) The steps taken by the Government to boost generation of nuclear power and to achieve the target?

 

Answers:

(a) No, Sir.

(b) The targets fixed vis-a-vis the actual generation of nuclear power for the last three years is given below:

 

Year Target Fixed (MUs) Actual Generation (MUs)
1996-97 7,570 9,068
1997-98 8,515 9,618
1998-99 9,795 11,174

 

(c)&(d) Do not arise.

 

Jaduguda Mines

(Q.No. 921, Raja Sabha)

 

Question:

(a) Whether Government are aware of the fact that the radiation emitted from the uranium mines of Jadugoda in South Bihar is harmful to the health of the local people and

(b) If so, what steps Government have taken in this regard?

 

Answer:

(a)&(b) The Uranium Corporation of India Ltd. (UCIL), a public sector undertaking of DAE, operates three underground uranium mines and a uranium processing plant at Jaduguda and in the neighboring areas in the East Singhbhum District of South Bihar. Right from the start of its operations, UCIL has put in place measures necessary for radiological safety and the radiation levels at Jaduguda and in the surrounding areas are well within the permissible limits laid down for this purpose by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board. In addition, for systematic and effective monitoring of the radiation levels in and around the mines/mill, a well-equipped Health Physics Unit-cum-Environmental Survey Laboratory of BARC, which is independent of the UCIL, has been in operation at Jaduguda since the inception of the UCIL. The scientists of this Unit, qualified and trained in the field of radiological safety and protection, regularly measure the radioactivity in the area, maintain constant surveillance on environmental releases and undertake measurements of pollutants in the atmospheric and aquatic systems of the environment in and around Jaduguda. The measurements and studies conducted periodically by the Health Physics Unit-cum- Environmental Survey Laboratory reveal that the radiation levels measured in and around Jaduguda match those at locations surrounding the area and that there is no adverse impact on account of UCIL’s operations on the local people or the environment, including plants, fish, food, water, earth, etc. in the area.

 

Uranium Deposits in Gulbarga, Karnataka

(Q.No. 2353, Rajya Sabha)

 

Question:

(a) Whether rich uranium deposits have been found in Gulbarga, in Karnataka?

(b) If so, its potential in generation of electricity and

(c) The planning in regard to setting up of nuclear plants in Nagarjuna Sagar and Srikakulam?

 

Answer:

(a) Yes, Sir. The Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD) of DAE located significant uranium anomalies associated with brecciated limestone near Gogi in Gulbarga District, Karnataka. Studies on reserve estimation and extracta- ability of the ore have been taken up thereafter.

(b) Potential of the uranium deposit at Gogi for generation of electricity can be established only after completion of the on-going studies relating to estimation of the ore reserve and examination of the economic aspects of ore extraction.

(c) Nagarjuna Sagar and Kovvada in Srikakulam District of Andhra Pradesh have been identified as possible sites for further investigation in respect of setting up nuclear power plant. There is, however, no plan as yet to establish a nuclear power station in Andhra Pradesh.

 

Performance of Atomic Power Station

(Q.No. 2352, Rajya Sabha)

 

Question:

(a) Whether all atomic power stations in the country are functioning well,

(b) If so, the details in this regard and

(c) How much power is generated to meet the power shortage in the country?

 

Answer:

(a) Yes, Sir.

(b) The performance statistics of the existing nuclear power stations in the country during the last two years and the current year, are given below:

 

Name of Station & Location Unit Installed Capacity 1997-98 1998-99 1999-2000 up to Nov.’99
Tarapur Atomic Power Station, Tarapur, Maharashtra TAPS-1 160 84 93 58
TAPS-2 160 68 68 80
Rajasthan Atomic Power Station, Rawatbhata, Rajasthan RAPS-1 100@ 40 63 69
RAPS-2 200 $ 69 79
Madras Atomic Power Station, Kalpakkam, Tamilnadu. MAPS-1 170 49 75 91
MAPS-2 170 78 72 73
Narora Atomic Power Station, Narora, Uttar Pradesh. NAPS-1 220 90 68 80
NAPS-2 220 89 77 76
Kakrapar Atomic Power Station, Kakrapar, Gujarat. KAPS-1 220 48 72 79
KAPS-2 220 63 78 86

 

@: Operating up to 150 MWe is authorized by Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) from July 1997 until further notification for coolant channel replacement.

$: RAPS-2 was re-started in June 1998 after replacement of coolant channels and completion of up-gradation works

(c) The contribution of nuclear power is about 2% of the total power produced in the country from all sources.

 

Indo-French Cooperation in Nuclear Field

(Q.No. 1530, Lok Sabha)

 

Question:

(a) Whether the France has offered to cooperate with India in generation of nuclear energy?

(b) If so, the details thereof along with terms of the offer and

(c) The reaction of the Government there of?

 

Answer:

(a) to (c) Discussions have taken place between India and France on safety issues related to nuclear power production. The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) of India and the Nuclear Installation Safety Directorate (DSIN) of France have signed a bilateral agreement on July 29, 1999 for exchange of information and cooperation in the area of nuclear safety. The scope of the Agreement covers, inter-alia, regulatory positions and practices on significant safety issues in the areas of siting, design, construction, commissioning and operation of nuclear power plants. The terms of the Agreement are similar to normal bilateral agreement for mutual benefit.

 

Mineral Deposits

(Q.No. 2571, Lok Sabha)

 

Question:

(a) Whether the evaluation of heavy mineral deposits in Tamil Nadu by the Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research were fruitful,

(b) Whether the occurrence of heavy mineral in Molybdenum in the Harur Taluk, Dharmapuri District, Tamil Nadu has been included in the AMD’s research and development of heavy mineral resources needed for the nuclear power programme and Rocket propellant research and

(c) If so, the details thereof?

 

Answer:

(a) The results of exploration and evaluation of the heavy mineral deposits (containing minerals like ilmenite, rutile, zircon, monazite, etc., which have been declared as prescribed substances under the Atomic Energy Act, 1962) by the Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research. (AMD) over 580 kilometers (km) along the coast and of inland teri sands deposits over 170 sq.km. in Tamil Nadu have benefited the industries concerned.

(b) No, Sir.

(c) AMD’s mandate is to explore the occurrence and evaluate the deposits of minerals which have been notified as prescribed substances under the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 and molybdenum is not a prescribed substance.

 

Survey for Uranium

(Q.No. 3435, Lok Sabha)

 

Question:

(a) Whether any survey was conducted recently for uranium?

(b) If so, the outcome thereof and

(c) The extent of success achieved by the Government in identifying the uranium?

 

Answer:

(a) Yes, Sir.

(b) &(c) The Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD), has recently conducted exploratory surveys for uranium in parts of Solan, Sirmur, Bilaspur, Kangra and Mandi Districts of Himachal Pradesh. These surveys have led to preliminary identification of uranium anomalies of variable dimensions associated with sand stones in some parts of Solan District. Further detailed exploration, including drilling, is necessary and has accordingly been planned by the AMD to establish the viability of these anomalies.

 

Atomic Energy in States

(Q.No. 3549, Lok Sabha)

 

Question:

(a) The States where the atomic energy is being made available; and

(b) The programmes being implemented by the Government to make available atomic energy in more areas?

 

Answer:

The following are the states where electricity from atomic energy is being made available.

 

Units States to which electricity is being Suplied
Tarapur Atomic Power Station 1&2, Tarapur, Maharashtra Maharashtra & Gujarat,
Rajasthan Atomic Power Station 1&2, Rawatbhatta, Rajasthan Rajasthan
Madras Atomic Power Station 1&2, Kalpakkam, Tamil Nadu Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Pondicherry.
Narora Atomic Power Station 1&2 Narora, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, J &K, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh
Kakrapar Atomic Power Station 1&2, Kakrapar, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa, Daman & Diu, Gujarat.

 

(b) Proposals for nuclear power development in the Ninth Five Year Plan include 2x500 MWe plant at Tarapur (TAPP 3&4), additional 2x220 MWe Unit at Kaiga (Kaiga 3&4) and commissioning of the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the 2x1000 MWe Nuclear Power Station at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu with Russian assistance, apart from completing and commissioning the ongoing projects of a total capacity of 880 MWe, comprising the Kaiga Atomic Power Project Units-1 & 2 (2x220 MWe)and Rajasthan Atomic Power Project Units-3&4 (2x220 MWe).

 

BARC Crop Varieties Released and Notified for Cultivation

 

Name Crop Year of release Maturity (M), Yield (Y) & Yield Increase (YI) Area
BLACKGRAM(Urid) TAU-1 1985 M: 70-75 days Maharashtra, Karnataka, MSSC, Akola
Y: 800-1000 kg/ha
YI: 24%
TAU-2 1992 M: 70 days Maharashtra, MSSC, Akola
Y:900-1000 kg/ha
YI: 18%
TPU-4 1992 M: 70-75 days Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, MSSC, Akola
Y:900-1000 kg/ha
YI: 22%
TU-94-2 1992 M: 70 days Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, TamilNadu, BARC, Mumbai
Y: 900-1000 kg/ha
YI: 19-37%
Greengram TAP-7 1983 M: 60 days Maharashtra, Karnataka, MSSC, Akola
Y:700-800 kg/ha
YI: 23%
TARM-2 1992 M:(Rabi 90 days) Maharashtra, MSSC, Akola
Y:1000-1100 kg/ha
YI: 80%
TARM-1 1995 M: 80 days Maharashtra, MP, Gujarat, AP, Kerala, Karnataka, TamilNadu, Orissa, BARC, Mumbai
Y: 1051 kg/ha
YI: 22-37%
TARM-18 1995 M: 65-70 days Maharashtra, BARC, Mumbai
Y: 765 kg/ha
YI: 45%
Pigeon Pea (Arhar) TT-6 (Trombay- Vishakha 1) 1983 M: 135-140 days MP, Maharashtra, Gujarat, AP, TamilNadu, Karnataka, Kerala, MSSC, Akola
Y: 1200-1300 kg/ha
YI: 15%
TAT-10 1985 M: 110-115 days Maharashtra, MSSC, Akola
Y: 900-1000 kg/ha
Groundnut TG-1 1973 M: 130-135 days Maharashtra, Gujarat, BARC Mumbai
Y: 2400-2500 kg/ha
YI: 15-20%
TG-3 1987 M: 110 days Kerala, BARC, Mumbai
Y: 1700-2000 kg/ha
YI: 15-20%
TG-17 1985 M: 115-120 days Maharashtra, BARC Mumbai
Y: 2000-2500 kg/ha
YI: 15-20%
TGS-1 1989 M: 110-125 days Gujarat, GAU, Junagadh, Maharashtra
Y: Kharif 2000 kg/ha
YI: 23%
TAG-24 1991 M: Kharif: 100-105 days W. Bengal, MSSC, Akola PDKV, Akola BARC, Mumbai
Summer:112-117 days
Y: Kharif: 1300 kg/ha
Summer: 2500 kg/ha
Y: Kharif: 1300 kg/ha
Summer: 2500 kg/ha
YI: Kharif:24%
Summer:50%
TG-22 1992 M: 110-125 days Gujarat, GAU, Junagadh, Maharashtra
Y: Kharif 2000 kg/ha
YI: 23%
TKG-19A 1994 M: 120-125 days Maharashtra, KKV, Dapoli, BARC, Mumbai
Y: (Summer) 2000-2500 kg/ha
YI: 12-13%
TG-26 1995 M: 110-120 days Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, BARC, Mumbai
Y: (Summer) 2500 kg/ha
YI: 23-39%
TG-22 1992 M: Kharif: 115-120 days Bihar, BAU, Ranchi
Y: 1677 kg/ha
YI: 30%
Mustard TM-2(Black Seed) 1973 M: 130-135 days Assam, BARC, Mumbai
Y: 1370 kg/ha
YI: 25%
TM-4(Yellow Seed) 1987 M: 95 days Assam, BARC, Mumbai
Y: 1470 kg/ha
YI: 35%
Rice Hari 1988 M: 135-140 days Andhra Pradesh, BARC, Mumbai, APSDCL
Y: 6000 kg/ha
YI: 20%
Jute TKJ-40 1983 M: 125-130 days Orissa, BARC, Mumbai
Y: 2800-3100 kg/ha
YI: 10-13%

 

Abbreviations

  1. APSSDCL: A.P. State Seeds Development Corporation Ltd., Hyderabad
  2. BARC: Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai
  3. BAU: Bihar Agricultural University, Ranchi
  4. GAU: Gujarat Agricultural University
  5. KKV: Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth, Dapoli
  6. MSSC: Maharashtra State Seeds Corporation
  7. PKV: Dr. Punjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidhyapeeth, Akola

Reaching Out

 

The National Technology Day on May 11, 2000 was celebrated by the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre by arranging an exhibition at Anushaktinagar showcasing a variety of technologies, products and equipment developed by it. The exhibition was inaugurated by Dr. Anil Kakodkar, Director, BARC. May 11 was declared as National Technology Day by the Prime Minister Shrl Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 1998 in commemoration of the country’s successful nuclear explosion.

 

This year the theme of the National Technology Day was 'Technology for Advancement of Science'

 

The exhibition depicted through panels, working models and exhibits, as to how the various technologies developed at BARC contributed to the advancement of scientific research in the country. For example the research reactors built at BARC became the centres of major scientific research using neutrons. Similarly the particle accelerators set up by BARC facilitated research in various disciplines of science. Other advanced technologies such as Lasers, Plasma, Electron Beam, Robotics, Supercomputers, Electronics & Instrumentation, etc. equipped the scientists with new versatile tools of research.

 

Some of the interesting equipment and products displayed were the Autonomous Guided Vehicle, Comprehensive Image Processing System, Ultrasonic Imaging System, Virtual Reality, Hospital Information Management System, Web Based Remote Monitoring & Control System, ANUPAM-P III Parallel Processing System, Triode Sputter Ion Pump, Nuclear Particle Detectors, Four Axis Robot, Integrated Security System, Acoustic Emission Analysis System, Organic Plastic Scintillators, Shape Memory Alloys and many more. The exhibition was of particular interest to students and teachers of science and engineering. It also provided an opportunity to entrepreneurs and industrialists to know about the spin-off technologies being offered by the Centre for Technology Transfer.

 

(BARC, Press Release 11, May 2000)