- Published by the
- Department of Atomic Energy
- Government of India
VOL. 34/NO.3-4/Sep-Oct 2000
Folded Tandem Ion Accelerator at Trombay
Folded Tandem Ion Accelerator, Nuclear Physics Division, BARC
The indigenously built Folded Tandem Ion Accelerator (FOTIA) has been set up at the Nuclear Physics Division of BARC. The first beam on target, delivered from the accelerator at 9:30 p.m. on April 21, 2000 was of carbon-12 ions and had an energy of 12.5 million electron volts (MeV). It was characterized by performing the Rutherford Back Scattering on gold, tin and iron targets. To accomplish this goal, a number of scientists, engineers and technical personnel from different disciplines of BARC had worked together.
The accelerator has the capability of delivering heavy ion beams up to A~40 and beam energy up to 66 MeV, with a maximum terminal voltage of 6 million volts. These beams will be used for research in basic and applied sciences in the field of nuclear physics, astrophysics, material science, accelerator mass spectrometry, atomic spectroscopy and others.
The construction of FOTIA which is an accelerator of its kind and amongst a few in the world, involved development of the state-of-the-art technologies of several vital components such as dipole magnets, high voltage generator, sulphur hexafluoride gas handling system, vacuum systems, magnetic and electrostatic lenses, computer control system and advanced electronic systems. In the accelerator, the components in the high voltage area are subjected to electric field gradients of hundreds of kV/cm. Therefore this region is enclosed inside a pressure vessel filled with sulphur hexafluoride insulating gas.
"As our target is 20,000 MW by 2020, we are working out strategies to cover the gap of 7,500 MW. It can be done either by increasing the number of 500 MW units or going for PWRs of 1,000 MW capacity…….."
(Shri V. K. Chaturvedi, CMD, NPCIL was interviewed by Shri T. S. Subramaniam of Frontline. Present here are the excerpts)
What will be your areas of priority in the NPC?
The short-term strategy will cover quicker commissioning, synchronization and commercial operation of Rajasthan Unit 4 and Kaiga Unit 1 so that we can start earning money from them. The plant load factor reached 80 per cent last year. This year we will attempt to achieve 80 plus.
The mid-term strategy which will stand for the next seven years, is to double the installed capacity. Today we are around 2,770 MW (including Rajasthan 4 and Kaiga 1 which will go critical before the end of this year). We want to add another 3,000 MW in two units of 500 MW each at Tarapur and two units of 1,000 MW each of VVER design at Kudankulam. This will take us roughly around a total installed capacity of 6,000 MW. Assuming from then onwards (from the seventh year), we will be in a position to install one 500 MW reactor every year, it will be 6,500 MW up to A.D. 2020. So it would totally be 12,500 MW up to A.D. 2020.
As our target is 20,000 MW by 2020, we are working out strategies to cover the gap of 7,500 MW. It can be done either by increasing the number of 500 MW units or going for PWRs of 1,000 MW capacity. That means six more units - apart from the two units at Kudankulam - of 1,000 MW capacity each of PWR/VVER design will have to be set up.
As far as PWRs/VVERs of 1,000 MW capacity are concerned, arrangements will be of the same type as in the case of the Russian reactors at Kudankulam or better in the context of financial support from outside. Alternatively, we may go for BOT (build, operate and transfer) projects.
As far as the safety norms of these units are concerned, these will conform to Indian practices and remain under the charge of the Indian authorities and the responsibility of financing, designing, construction and operation will lie with outsiders. Depending on the type of agreements, we will have after a certain stipulated period the transfer (to Indian authorities) can take place.
Does it mean privatization? Or are we going to import light water reactors?
Not exactly (privatization). We have a certain capacity in our country. We want to increase our installed capacity. To that, we can add up to 1,000 MW every year. If you want to add beyond that, it is not to learn the technology but to increase the total generation of nuclear electricity. We can even go for outside help.
How do you plan to reduce project implementation time, cost overruns and the time taken to acquire land?
In our country these are long-time activities that need it requires clearances from various ministries. The government has set up a high-level committee to select sites for nuclear power projects. It is trying to find sites not only in the western and southern regions but central India. Today we have sites available for six more units: two at Kaiga (3 and 4 of 220 MW each)and four in Rajasthan. Essentially, the units that will come up in Rajasthan (Rawatbhatta) will be of 500 MW each.
We expect that our site selection process will conclude in two to three years
All this for PHWRs?
Coastal sites are required for 1,000 MW units because the transportation of components inland will be extremely difficult, if not impossible. Inland sites require a lot of improvement in terms of roads and railways.
People say that the cost of generating nuclear power is high mainly because of the plants’ gestation period. From Kaiga 1 and 2 and RAPS 3 and 4, sufficient experience has been gained to reduce drastically the time taken to build new projects. They can be constructed in five to six years. This compares well with the construction time in advanced countries.
How do you plan to make safety a transparent issue in the NPC and sell the concept Of nuclear power generation as a safe means?
In the context of safety, two aspects are important. The utility should be safe and the people (operating the nuclear plant) should be confident about safety. ‘The NPC has done 170 reactor power years of operation and we have had no incidents above Level 1.
The fire at Narora 1 was Level 3 incident
Yes, it was Level 3 mainly because of the intensity of the fire and certain other considerations. But it was not as if any radioactive release took place.
First, we should be confident about safety. As far as the NPC is concerned, you can see our record. You can compare this record with any country’s. The second thing is, we not only have started opening out to our own countrymen but we are exposing ourselves to the scrutiny of institutions such as the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO). We have done peer reviews of Kakrapar and Narora. We plan this on a regular basis as any Western nation is doing. We will also put our stations to international scrutiny as it helps build a more solid image.
The third aspect is, whenever you talk about safety, it should be in the correct perspective. You cannot compare a light-weight champion with a featherweight or heavyweight champion. You should look at the relative safety in each class of reactors. On the basis of facts and figures, on the basis of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) record, or on the basis of peer reviews, if we really look at the safety of the Indian PHWRs, we will be rated much higher than others and we are quite competitive. In fact, we are better than the advanced countries where this type of reactor is in operation.
There have been several incidents in our nuclear electricity stations such as the fire at Narora, the flooding at Kakrapar and Rawatbhatta and the leak of several tonnes of heavy water at Kalpakkam last year. What are these features ?
Some incident or other always takes place. But what we have to see is, what the consequences of these incidents are. There were no radiological consequences from the flooding at Kakrapar, the fire at Narora or the delamination of the dome at Kaiga. So this means that these are not the type of incidents that should be used to create a fear psychosis. Unfortunately in our country we have no system where persons with different opinions can sit together and examine the data and the official figures and, based on that, they come to a conclusion. It appears that even if the nuclear utility wants to share its data with people who oppose the advancement of nuclear power, there are no takers for these data. It appears that a fixed opinion, a permanent bias always governs their criticism.
We should have a mechanism by which, in a scientific and logical way, we can settle these alleged controversial matters. It will help in the long run to strengthen the establishment of larger installed capacity of our nuclear power programme.
When RAPS 3 was synchronized to the grid in March this year, you said that unit and the fourth unit had advanced safety features that were of international standards. What are these features ?
In operating any reactor, three basic design features are important. First, we should be in a position to shut down the reactor safely in a planned manner any time or within the escalation of the transient conditions which go beyond the limits of regulation. Owing to the basic nature of our PHWRs, where under loss of coolant accident (LOCA) conditions limited power positive reactivity is introduced, it becomes essential that we should have a 100 per cent stand-by system so that if one system does not work, the back-up system will ensure shut- down.
From Narora onwards two fast-acting reactor shutdown systems have been introduced, instead of the provision for dumping the moderator (heavy water), which characterizes the method used to shut down of the earlier Rajasthan and Kalpakkam reactors.
We also realized that in bigger reactors of 500 MW capacity, where the inventory of the moderator is much bigger than that in 220 MW reactors, the time taken for the dumping of the moderator for shutdown will increase substantially and may not be adequate to limit the reaction time under certain accident conditions.
In the Kaiga and RAPS 3 and 4 reactors, this redundancy (of two shut down systems) has been further enhanced to act not only at the system level but at the instrument and control levels. A total duplication has been made in respect of devices, including neutronic sensors and signal generating and processing devices.
In the containment dome, we started improvising from Kalpakkam onwards. At Rawatbhatta, there was only single containment of reinforced cement concrete while at Kalpakkam, it was designed using pre-stressed concrete. In addition, partial secondary containment was used. At Narora, the concept was further enhanced and an improved design of containment... was provided. At Kaiga and RAPS 3 and 4, a more advanced concept of a dome inside a dome has been used. The containment has been used only as a device to confine radioactive release in case of accident conditions. This is an international practice and we have made use of that requirement. This was unlike earlier reactors up to Kaiga (but not including Kaiga) where the containment had a dual function - of acting as a radioactive envelope and as a structural element to support the internal concrete - steel structure along with the equipment at various floors of the reactor building.
We have also made special arrangements to take out the steam generators because it is necessary to replace them at - least once in the lifetime of the plant. To facilitate this process and to reduce the time for replacement, special provisions have been made at the top of the dome. This unique arrangement has been provided for the first time in the world at Kaiga and KAPS 3 and 4.
I can give you many more examples. More than 35 types of improvements have been made, to bring them to the same safety level as any other reactor in the world.
Unit-3 of the Rajasthan Atomic Power Project at Rawatbhatta, near Kota, which attained criticality on December 24, 1999
What is the status of the Kudankulam Atomic Power Project?
Under the technical support arrangement the basic design, the overall plant management schemes and the equipment and plant material except those that are not available in the Russian Federation are to be supplied by the Russians. Activities that can be taken up which can be done by the Indian sub-contractors, such as the construction of the turbine buildings and the plant building, piping, cabling, installation of instrumentation and control items, air conditioning and simpler sub-systems on the conventional side become the responsibility of India.
The whole project is to be constructed in two phases. In the first, the DPR (detailed project report), along with the preliminary safety assessment and techno-economic viability reports of the plant, is to be prepared. Safety aspects are to be reviewed by the Indian regulatory bodies, including the AERB and they include pollution control. The Tamil Nadu Government and the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests will come into the picture. After assessing the beneficial aspect of the project on the basis of these perceptions, a decision to implement it will be taken.
The work on the DPR is moving as per schedule. It is expected that the DPR (detailed project report) will be ready by the middle of next year and we will be in a position to assess this document to take a decision on the implementation of the project.
If things go as we planned, the first unit will be completed by the middle of 2007 and the second unit in the middle of 2008. It is evident that we are planning to implement the project at a very fast rate.
Courtesy: Frontline dated August 18, 2000
Hi-Tech Computerized Security Management
- Dr. D.N. Srivastava
- Control Instrumentation Division
- Bhabha Atomic Research Centre
Security management is a multidisciplinary science and out of its many facets, the most important is the intelligence. Strengthening of intelligence, especially the one related to internal security can provide a practical solution to eliminate security lapses.
In the scenario of heterogeneity and the cultural diversity, as exists in our country, the problem of external security gets mixed up with that of the internal security in a complex way. But today, with the advent of powerful and versatile low cost computers and the progress in information technology, it is possible to make up for the weakness of the intelligence system arising due to heterogeneity and diversity.
High level security management involves continuous, extensive and minute observations as well as the multiple correlation of the collected information. Because uncorrelated information is as good as no information, hence for this purpose, BARC has evolved three basic security system concepts namely the Phonetic Identification System, Anthropological Coding System and Watch-Dog Index System.
Phonetic Identification System:
Since an adversary may dexterously behave like an innocent gentleman, it becomes imperative to have a scheme of general observation. But minute observation of the entire population is neither practical nor desirable. In this situation, one has to begin with a scheme of general observation and quickly localize it on to adversaries. Thus for identification of each citizen, a scientifically designed unique and invariant identity number forms the starting point of security management. After a review of identification formulae of 22 countries, it was inferred that none was suitable for India. This problem was solved in BARC by evolving a new Phonetic Number System. This System has many novel mathematical features and permits unique identification of every citizen with only six digits, called Phonetic Code. The Phonetic Codes have soft and clear sounds common to all the Indian languages. On pronunciation these codes sound like short words. This makes them easily memorable. This System of Phonetic Identification was accepted by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, in 1986, to check infiltration across the border. Field tests have proven its success.
The Phonetic Code can be written in Hindi, other Indian scripts and Roman and they have a 14 digit decimal equivalent. They are mathematically self-checking and contain the information of state, district, tehsil, year of birth and sex. In respect of brevity and memorability, the Phonetic Identification surpasses any identification system designed so far. The decimal equivalent increases the scope of their application and makes them universal. The Phonetic Codes are mathematically generated and are compiled in the 16 volumes of Phonetic Code-Books prepared by BARC. They recycle after every 128 years. Hence once adopted, the scheme of Phonetic Identification can be made perpetually running.
An example of a hypothetical trilingual (Hindi, Gujarati and English) Phonetic Code with its 14 digit decimal equivalent. It indicates a 1966 born male citizen resident of Gujarat, District Banaskantha and Tehsil Palanpur. Although Phonetic Codes are apparently meaningless, they are short and easily memorable and their sound structure resembles meaningful words. The decimal Feature Code 37590 indicates that the person is of fair complexion with earlobes attached and mole on the right side of the face and has loops in finger Nos. 1,3,4,6,8,9 and whorls in 2,5,7,10 (finger No. 1 being the right thumb).
Anthropological Coding System:
Even after every citizen of the whole country, or of a region to begin with, is identified through the Phonetic Code, it will not be practical to expect that every one always carries his or her Phonetic Identity card. In such a situation, the memorability and simplicity of the Phonetic Code plays a key role. To augment it for security purposes, a scheme of coding of physical features has been evolved. This is based on a study of finger prints of 3250 persons, obtained from the Police Department in Mumbai and some anthropological features. This code is a six digit decimal number which describes complexion, visible identification marks like mole or cut and a binary classification of the 22 types of fingerprint patterns, into broad category of loops and whorls, without ridge count. Since the ridge count is ignored and the 22 types are put only into two category, they can be verified on the spot by even non-experts after one or two days of training. This system classifies the population into more than one lakh categories of nearly equal probability. This permits the preparation of Physical Feature Base of citizens on regional, state or national level. Recording of physical features on this codified scheme can take care of people moving without identity card, or with forged identity card, in sensitive areas.
Watch-Dog Index System:
The system of Watch-Dog Index is a new scientific technique conceived in BARC for the detection of maximum number of adversaries by minimum observation. It is based on the principle that the ‘Place-Time’ Pattern (PT-Pattern) of an adversary is very different compared to the PT-Pattern of a normal person under similar conditions. The PT-Pattern means the kind of places visited by the person in the course of 24 hours of day and night. This gives clues to detect adversaries. For this purpose, the PT-Patterns of a large number of people are dynamically monitored. Any drastic departure from the normal is an indication of high probability of the individual being an adversary.
For running this system, first a detailed map of the region is taken and it is graphically fed to a computer. Then based on previous observations and the investigation experience, various places of the map are assigned ‘Place Probability Values (P)’ from 1 to 99. The second step is the determination of the Time Function T. For this purpose, the 24 hours of day and night are divided into 24 intervals of hourly duration. Again from previous experience, the Time Probability Values (T) of the movement of adversaries, from 1 to 99 are assigned to each hour. The third step is the determination of the PT Function by multiplying the P value of each place with a selected T value. Thus from a given P Function and T Function, we get 24 maps of the PT Function. Each map represents the probability of adversaries in the region R, at the given hour. High PT value means that at the given place and time, there is high probability of the presence of adversaries. This enables the planning of the posting of watchmen at various places. Here it must be admitted that the Watch-Dog System does not eliminate watchmen but utilizes them more intelligently and effectively.
Data from many locations corresponding to various dates and times are brought together and a comprehensive list is prepared. In this list, against the Phonetic Code of a given person, the PT values taken on various occasions come together. All these values are added to get the cumulative PT value corresponding to each Phonetic Code. For individuals getting high PT value, many other Extraneous Factors (E1,E2,E3...) may also be determined which are specific to a particular region, society, profession, age etc. The multiplication of all these factors gives the Watch-Dog Index (W). The peaking of W is an indication of the person being a most probable adversary.
Watch-Dog Index For Vehicles: Like persons, Watch-Dog Index can be assigned to vehicles too. In this respect vehicles can be treated as artificial entity in themselves. The Place Function and Time Function have to be same for the person and vehicle, since in this respect they correspond to each other. However, there are two differences in the methodology for persons and vehicles. Persons are to be identified by their Phonetic Code which are yet to be allotted, whereas vehicles are identified by their registration number which are already allotted.
Moreover, the preparation of Watch-Dog Index for vehicles is much easier and cheaper than that of persons. In the case of persons, the Phonetic Code has to be noted from their identity card by an authorized person in uniform. In the case of vehicles, it can be done quite simply. The value of W thus determined shows systematic peaks in respect of certain vehicles. Now according to the principle of Watch-Dog Index, the owner or close associate of high peak vehicles must be an adversary.
Because of its simplicity, the Watch-Dog system for vehicles can be taken up independently and immediately since all the two wheelers and four wheelers bear their registration number and it requires much less number of watchmen in their case. Moreover, it can give useful results in much shorter time.
The Concept of Electronic Watch-Dog Machine: All the above systems of security management can be best implemented through a pocket size Electronic Watch-Dog Machine and a network of computers. The main constituent of the Watch-Dog Machine is a microprocessor coupled to a simple keyboard, a small monochrome display screen and a camera. The microprocessor is programmed to take up in its memory any Phonetic Code or vehicle registration number entered into it. Based on initial setting and an internal clock, it automatically enters the place of observation (P) and time (T) of the entry. When a Phonetic Code is entered, it does the mathematical self-checking and gives indication if it is wrong. If right, it displays the state, district, tehsil, age and male or female character of the citizen. When the six digit decimal Feature Code is entered, it describes apparent physical features and binary fingerprint patterns which can be verified on the spot. It also prompts the watchman to take pictures of the area watched at predetermined or random times. This way it keeps watch on the watchman too.
After the day’s watching, the data are unloaded on the computer of the local office which transmits them to the Central Watch-Dog Office. The central computer processes the data obtained from many branch offices and determines the adversaries in order of their probabilities.
Schematic representation of Computerized Hi-Tech Security Management with a Central Watch-Dog Computer and number of variable but linked Observation Posts, having watchmen equipped with electronic watch-dog machine.
With judicious fixation of place probability function P and the time probability function T and monitoring of personnel by the watch-dog machine, it is possible to determine the adversaries even before they have done the intended harm.
While dealing with human problems, it must be accepted that any system can work only in terms of degrees of probability, not with the perfection of certainty. With better and advanced systems, better results can be obtained. The systems described here can work with high probability of success only when they are adopted in entirety, in whole of the country. The drastic reduction in the prices of computers and electronic items has made the system affordable. The investment done in implementing these systems in entirety are compensated by the savings over the losses of property and life which otherwise take place. The system not only strengthens security but also lays the foundation of On-line Population Management which is vital for strengthening economy and improving efficiency in all walks of life.
In the present security scenario, when the adversaries come mixed up with general public, the biggest problem faced by the security officials is how to distinguish between the real adversary and the innocent person. The systems presented here can considerably reduce the degree of error in the judgment since it is very accurate to ascertain the adversary by computerized correlation of multiple information.
When India develops the security management technology based on the principles described above, it can readily find good international market too, similar to that of the popular Information Technology, as so many countries are facing difficult internal security problems due to increase in organized crime.
BRIT"S New Chief Executive
Dr. N. Ramamoorthy has taken over as the Chief Executive, Board of Radiation & Isotope Technology (BRIT) on August 1, 2000.
A chemistry graduate from the University of Madras, Dr. Ramamoorthy had joined the 15th batch (1971-72) of BARC’s Training School. Later he did MSc (by research) and Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Bombay.
With over 28 years of research experience in the field of radio-pharmaceuticals, nuclear medicine, radioisotopes production, radio-chemicals and allied areas, Dr. Ramamoorthy specializes in nuclear medicine technology and hospital radio pharmacy practices. He has played an active role in setting up radiopharmaceutical laboratories and associated facilities at Vashi, Navi Mumbai.
Dr. Ramamoorthy has served on the Faculty of a number of national and international courses/Workshops. He was the Technical Expert of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Iran, Turkey, Uganda and Libya and as a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Missouri, Columbia, USA. He is a PG teacher and Examiner of the University of Mumbai and of Bangalore University.
He has been the Founder Fellow of the Indian College of Nuclear Medicine, President of the Society of Nuclear Medicine (India) for the year 2000 and Member of the Executive Editorial Board of the Indian Journal of Nuclear Medicine (1997). He is also a life member of a number of scientific societies and associations.
A co-author of two books, Dr. Ramamoorthy has to his credit nearly 100 publications.
New CMD of NPCIL
Shri Vijay Kumar Chaturvedi has taken over as the new Chairman-cum-Managing Director of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) with effect from August 1, 2000.
A gold medalist in Bachelor of Engineering (Mech.) from Vikram University, Shri Chaturvedi (born on Jan 1, 1943) started his career as Reactor Erection Engineer in the Rajasthan Atomic Power Project (1965). In 1974, he took over the charge of the "Resident Design Team" of the Project. The positions later held by him were: Incharge of the Design, Planning, Layout and Design Safety Analysis Group in the NPCIL Head Quarters (1977), Chief Engineer, Kudankulam Project (1988) and Project Director, Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS)-Rehabilitation (1996). In 1998, he was given the additional responsibility as the Project Director of RAPP Units - 3 & 4 (1998).
To the credit of Shri Chaturvedi goes the evolution of a number of innovative procedures for meeting the critical requirements of the nuclear components, contribution to developing standardized design of pressurized heavy water reactor (PHWR) design and development of technologies for rehabilitation of RAPS reactors. Development of these technologies will go a long way in using them for life management of all the PHWR reactors and subsequently for developing technologies for decommissioning.
In February 1997 he and his team plugged the leakage of heavy water and helium from the over pressure relief device (OPRD) in RAPS 1. The reactor now generates 150 MW. The second unit underwent en masse replacement of its 306 coolant channels, where the nuclear fuel resided - a first-time procedure in India. The reactor attained re-criticality on May 27, 1998 and now generates 200 MW.
Other important assignments of Shri Chaturvedi, where he played pivotal role, related to the negotiations with the Russian Organization on techno-economic aspects for setting up of Kudankulam reactors.
A leading nuclear safety expert, Shri Chaturvedi contributed immensely in preparation of nuclear safety series guides of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Also, he participated as a member of the Senior Advisory Group for preparation of the Indian Regulatory Codes on Nuclear Safety and a number of other safety committees.
During his tenure as Project Director, the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station received the Golden Peacock Environment Award-1995 and RAPP 3 & 4 bagged the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board’s Annual Safety Awards for construction, in 1997 & 1999.
Shri Ch. Surendar, former Chairman-cum-Managing Director, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. presenting a dividend cheque of Rs 61.48 crore to Shri Yeshwant Sinha, Union Minister for Finance, in the presence of Dr. R. Chidambaram, Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission and Shri R. M. Premkumar, Additional Secretary, DAE.
Golden Peacock National Award -1999 to Heavy Water Board
The Heavy Water Board, an industrial organization of the Department of Atomic Energy, engaged in production of nuclear grade heavy water for meeting the requirements of nuclear power programme of India, has received Golden Peacock National Training Award -1999 as Runner Up. The Awards were presented in New Delhi on 22nd August, 2000, by Shri L.K. Advani, Union Home Minister.
The Golden Peacock National Training Awards have been instituted by the Institute of Directors, a registered non-profit association of directors committed to improve the competitiveness of Indian business by focusing on the development of its leadership.
The award was given to the Heavy Water Board in recognition of its outstanding contribution to the training of employees and the consequent improvements brought about in the field of safety, energy conservation and capacity utilization. The Board was able to achieve a substantial reduction in specific energy consumption and consequently sizeable reduction in the cost of production of heavy water during the year 1999-2000. This was possible due to multi-pronged efforts, including the special emphasis on personnel training. Accreditation to quality systems of ISO-9002 and ISO-14001 has been taken up by the Board and one of the plants has already received the accreditation while other plants are in the process of doing so. Also, the safety statistics of the heavy water plants have been far superior to the industry standards. For this reason, the Board has been receiving recognition in the field of safety and energy conservation and management from various state and national level statutory and professional bodies. The plants at Baroda & Tuticorin have been operating for around 3000 days without any reportable injury or accident.
Source: DAE PR No.8
BARC Transfers Medical Technologies to Larsen & Toubro Ltd.
BARC has transferred to M/s Larsen & Toubro Limited, Mysore, two technologies viz.
- Impedance Cardio-Vasograph and
- Cardiac Output Monitor on 9.8.2000.
Both the technologies are based on the principle of Impedance Plethysmography and are non-invasive in nature.
Impedance Cardio-vasograph is a medical instrument used to assess the central and peripheral blood flow in human body. Current is passed through the extreme ends of the body with the help of two surface electrodes and voltage developed across any two points on the body is measured with the help of another pair of electrodes. This voltage signal is processed to derive the blood flow information in the body. Due to its non-invasive mode of working, the instrument can be repeatedly used in patients for the diagnosis of peripheral vascular’ occlusive diseases, monitoring of coronary artery diseases, for post therapeutic assessment of venous disorders, cardiac disorders and fluid retention. User friendly software has been developed under Windows 98 using lab Windows CVI/NI.
Cardiac Output Monitor provides cardiac output signal which can be displayed on standard oscilloscope/PC monitor. It reveals pump performance of the heart. It will form front end module to patient monitoring system useful for monitoring of stroke volume and cardiac output in patients in Intensive Care Units and Intensive Cardiac Care Units except in patients with shunts and valvular regurgitation.
Both the technologies are developed by Electronics Division. Technology Transfer activities were coordinated by Technology Transfer & Collaboration Division.
Ni-Ti Shape Memory Alloy Heat Shrinkable Sleeves
For application in an insulator assembly of an advanced aircraft under development, heat shrinkable sleeves of a Ni-Ti-Fe shape memory alloy have been successfully developed by the Materials Science Division (MSD) of BARC. Research on shape memory alloys has been going on at Trombay for over a decade. A number of important scientific contributions on shape memory phenomena have originated from MSD. These include, the determination and rationalization of reversion stress, the role of self accommodation of martensite crystals in the shape memory effect and identification of the criteria to be fulfilled by an alloy to exhibit shape memory. In a parallel effort, the development of the melting and fabrication flow sheet for shape memory alloys has been pursued and several Ni-Ti, Cu-Zn-Al and Fe-based alloys have been successfully produced in small quantities.
Few demonstration items have also been fabricated, viz., a solid-state heat engine, a heat shrinkable pipe coupling and a few thermally activated devices. The present achievement in developing the heat shrinkable sleeves for the aircraft application is a culmination of these research and development efforts. The entire flow sheet involving alloy preparation, fabrication and machining was scaled up from a laboratory scale to about 20 kg ingot size. While the making and hot rolling of these alloys have been carried out at the Atomic Fuels Division of BARC, the required thermo-mechanical treatments and the detailed characterization have been performed in MSD.
The Ni-Ti-Fe sleeves are utilized to clasp polymer insulators onto metallic conduit pipes. During the assembly of this component, the sleeves are expanded in a liquid nitrogen bath and applied to the insulator-conduit pipe joint. In these alloys, any shape change imparted by deformation of the martensite phase is annulled and the original dimensions recovered in the course of the reverse transformation to the austenite phase on heating the material to room temperature. The dimensions of the assembly and the sleeves are so chosen that the complete shape recovery is not possible and there is a residual strain in the sleeve. The sleeves generate a large stress under the constrained condition of shape recovery and tightly clasp the insulators onto the conduit pipes. The tools for expanding the sleeves have also been developed at BARC and are supplied along with the sleeves.
These components, which have successfully gone through rigorous tests for airworthiness, have been certified for application in combat aircraft. The components are tested for leakage, sealing, ultimate pressure, thermal shock, vibration, pull out and endurance up to 1,40,000 cycles of pressurization under the combined action of shear and bending forces. These tests ensure that the sleeves apply sufficient grip over the temperature range (-500C to 1500C) encountered in service. At this point in time, the development phase of this project has been accomplished.
(BARC Newsletter, No. 195)
National Centre for Compositional Characterisation of Materials (CCCM)
The National Centre for Compositional Characterisation of Materials (CCCM) of DAE provides specialized analytical services at concentrations ranging from highly accurate (Stoichiometric) assays down to sub-parts per billion level of concentration of constituent elements (impurities). There are three major laboratories: Bulk analysis, Profile Measurements and Ultra Trace Lab (UTAL) with very high levels of cleanliness (better than class 10 on work surfaces, metal free).
- Validation support to analytical component of national programme in environmental and forensic sciences.
- Assays with high accuracy for large-value metals as in catalysts.
- New dimensions in non-destructive examination of materials, finished components using MeV ion-beams though suitable nuclear reactions.
- Measurement of wear arising from interaction of surfaces in relative motion through thin layer activation approach, for tribological investigation, with very high sensitivity, not possible by other approaches.
- Determination of surface and depth distribution of low Z elements, hydrogen in particular, in different materials. These two approaches monitor the behavior/performance of components in use and help take timely action before catastrophic failures.
- Examination of electronic devices, particularly micro devices, for performance and possible failures through studies of single event upsets, ion beam induced charge collection.
- Characterization of semiconductor and hi-tech materials.
- Characterization of high value catalysts, raw materials such as naphtha for petrochemical industry and new materials developments
- Process optimization and product evaluation for industries through the approach of Process Analytical Chemistry.
- Determination of nanograms per milliliter and lower levels of concentration of elements in tissues and body fluids to monitor the role/effects of trace elements in health and disease, typical example is the determination of aluminum in serum of patients under going haemodialysis.
- Preparation of ultra pure reagents and conditioning of containers for minimizing analytical process blanks.
- Structured to provide solutions to analytical problems for different end users employing a combination of range of analytical techniques.
Workshop on Green Belting & Eco-Development at Kudankulam
A One day Workshop on 28.8.2000 was organized at Manomaniam Sundaranar University, Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu jointly by M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), Chennai and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) under the on-going DAE-MSSRF Research Project on Nuclear and Biotechnological Tools for Coastal Systems Research. MSSRF has developed models and demonstration plots for sustainable natural water resource management and development in Kudankulam, a semi arid region in the coastal south Tamil Nadu with severe water scarcity. The major emphasis has been to develop a model for green belt development around the Nuclear Power Plant to be set up at Kudankulam by NPCIL in near future. In a model demonstration plant in the buffer zone of the proposed site, 7000 seedlings of neem and tamarind have been planted with a survival rate of more than 85%. Few mutant varieties of black gram and groundnut developed at BARC by radiation mutation have also been grown in the first phase. About 2 acres of the demonstration land is being converted into water harvesting structures and aqua-culture ponds.
While speaking at the inaugural function Dr. M. S. Swaminathan stressed upon the need for conservation of water and cultivation of traditional plants of the regime like tamarind, cotton, ground nut and also introduction of new crops like sweet-potato, etc. He informed that three self-help groups of villagers around Kudankulam are actively participating in the new developments.
While delivering the presidential address, Shri V. K. Chaturvedi, CMD, NPCIL spoke about the importance of nuclear power for the country and gave the outline of the Indian Nuclear Power Programme consisting of three stages. He stressed that our nuclear power installed capacity showed now onwards double every seven years so as to achieve the target of 20000 MWe by the year 2020. While speaking about the Kudankulam Atomic Power Project, he stated that construction work on some auxiliary buildings of the power plant and the township should commence by mid 2001.
Shri S. K. Jain, Director, Kudankulam Project gave a detailed description of the proposed Nuclear Power Plant at Kudankulam. Prof. P.C. Kesavan, Executive Director, MSSRF and the holder of DAE Homi Bhabha Chair on Nuclear Sciences and Rural Society gave an overall account of the developmental work being carried out under the DAE-MSSRF Project.
Other lectures delivered by the Eminent Experts were on Preliminary Soil Survey in Kudankulam, Space Applications for Natural Resource Management, Fisheries options for livelihood security in coastal region and tuber crops for coastal regions.
The workshop concluded with a round-table discussion on work to be done in the ‘semi-arid region of coastal Tamil Nadu for sustainable development of crops, water resources, etc.
Various self-help groups including several ladies from the areas surrounding the Kudankulam plant actively participated in the workshop.
Good Performance of the Indian Team at the IMO-2000
Team Members with Prof. M. S. Raghunathan, Chairman National Board for Higher Mathematics (NBHM), Deputy Leader of the team Prof. Hemalatha Thyagarajan of Regional Engineering College, Trichy and Leader of the team Dr. C. R. Pranesachar of the Olympiad cell- NBHM, Institute of Science, Bangalore
The following Indian team of students, which participated in 41st International Mathematical Olympiad-2000 (IMO-2000) held at Seoul, Republic of Korea from July 16-25, 2000, secured 5 Silver and 1 Bronze medals:
- Samik Basu (Calcutta)
- Swarnendra Datta (Calcutta)
- Swastik Kopparty (Bangalore
- Abhishek Saha (Calcutta)
- Vaibhav Vaish (Lucknow)
Bronze: N. R. Prasad (Bangalore)
A total of 82 countries had participated in this world event. On the basis of aggregate scores, India was placed at the fourteenth rank. This rank is unofficial as the IMO is an individual event not a team event.
The Sixth Delhi Book Fair
The Sixth Delhi Book Fair, held during August 12-20, 2000 at Pragati Maidan New Delhi, saw active participation of DAE with the display of its over 300 publications.
Prominent publishers and some Government Departments had participated in the fair which was inaugurated by Shri Omar Abdullah, Union Minister of State for Commerce & Industry.
The publications collected from various units of DAE and from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), were exhibited at the fair. The DAE-pavilion also projected multimedia presentations and video films.
The DAE pavilion was visited by academicians, research workers, doctors, students, farmers and other professionals. One of the highlights of the pavilion was the provision of a counter for the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (HBCSE) to facilitate instant sale of its priced publications. The counter registered respectable sales.
Visitors from the medical and farming profession, both were sizeable in number, showed keen enthusiasm in the sections on nuclear medicine, agriculture and food processing. Many of them desired information on regulatory aspects of setting up of nuclear medicine centers and food processing plants.
Most of the visitors, while realizing the significance of power as a vital ingredient towards development, expressed that DAE must enhance its pace of setting up adequate nuclear power installations to meet the energy demand of the country.
Many students aspiring for a place in the civil services used the DAE pavilion as a reference library over the entire period of the fair. College and school students found the multimedia presentations to be immensely useful and many even enquired whether the presentations were available on sale.
Many queries were received from the visitors which showed their keen interest in nuclear technology.