Science and Technology Current Affairs – 2018

INMAS develops India’s first indigenous anti-nuclear medical kit

Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS) has developed India’s first indigenous medical kit for protection against nuclear warfare or radioactive leakage. The kit will ensure protection from serious injury and aid faster healing of wounds due to nuclear warfare or radioactive leakage.

Anti-nuclear medical kit

The kit has been developed after 20 years of work by INMAS scientists. It has 25 items which include radioactive protectors which can absorb 80-90% of radiation, nerve gas agents, bandages that absorb radiation as well as tablets and ointments. The kit is seen as potent alternative to similar imported kits that were till now procured from US and Russia at much higher prices. It has been developed for armed, paramilitary and police forces only as they are first ones likely to get exposed to radiation during nuclear, chemical and biomedical (NCB) warfare or rescue operation after nuclear accident.

Few important items of kit

Prussian blue tablet: It is highly effective in incorporating Radio Cesium (Cs-137) and Radio Thallium, among the most feared radioisotopes in nuclear bombs that destroy human body cells. It provides 100% absorption from gut and other portals of entry to human body.

Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) injection: It traps uranium in the guts and blood of victims during a nuclear accident or warfare.

Ca-EDTA Respiratory Fluid: It is inhalation formula for chelation, or grabbing of heavy metals and radioactive elements deposited in lungs through inhalation at nuclear accident sites. EDTA after being injected into veins, grabs heavy metals and minerals and removes them from the body. It reduces the body burden of radioactivity by 30-40% in controlled conditions and is highly useful for the rescue teams and victims after a nuclear accident.

Radioactive Blood Mopping Dressing: It is special kind of bandage that absorbs radiation to prevent spread of radiation from radioactive patients to others. It will make safer for medical staff to handle radioactive patients as it reduces chances of them getting contaminated.

Radioactive urine/biofluid collector: It is cost-effective, easy to store and can safely dispose of the urine of person affected by radiation.

Anti-gamma ray skin ointment: It protects and heals the radiation damage on the skin.

Amifostine injection: It is US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved conventional radiopharmaceutical that limits damage from gamma radiation.

Indranil 150 mg tablet : It is reserve emergency therapeutic drug for services, rescue workers and places where high acute exposures are expected and lives will be at stake. Preliminary tests have shown that if it is given as prophylactic, 80-85% animals survive at 100% lethal gamma radiation .

Institute of Nuclear Medicine & Allied Sciences (INMAS)

INMAS is laboratory of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). It was established in 1961 and is located in New Delhi. It is involved in nuclear medicine research and responding to nuclear accidents and explosions. Since 1968, Department of Nuclear Medicine in INMAS is offering two-year diploma in radiation medicine. It is first formal training program in nuclear medicine in the world.

Month: Categories: Science and Technology Current Affairs - 2018


Apsara: BARC recommissions upgraded version of India’s oldest research reactor

Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Trombay has recommissioned India’s oldest nuclear research reactor named ‘Apsara’, which was shut down permanently in 2009 for repair. The refurbished version of this reactor has been named as ‘Apsara-upgraded’ (Apsara-U) and also has double capacity compared to its earlier version.  It is located within India’s nuclear weapons facility at BARC’s Trombay campus (Maharashtra).


Apsara was the first nuclear research reactor in Asia. It had become operational in BARC’s Trombay campus in August 1956. It was first nuclear research reactor indigenously developed in India. The design was conceptualised in 1955 by Dr Homi Bhabha, the father of Indian Nuclear programme. Its name Apsara was coined by then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

Apsara was a light water moderated (swimming pool-type) reactor with maximum power output of 1 megawatt thermal (MWt). It burned enriched uranium in form of aluminum alloyed curved plates. It was utilised for various experiments including neutron activation analysis, radiation damage studies, forensic research, neutron radiography, and shielding experiments. It was shut down in 2009, after more than five decades of service.


The upgraded version, like its ancestor, is indigenously made. It uses plate type dispersion fuel elements made of Low Enriched Uranium (LEU). It will help to increase indigenous production of radio-isotopes for medical application by about 50% mainly due to higher neutron flux. It will also be extensively used for research in nuclear physics, material science and radiation shielding. The radioisotopes produced by it will be also used in the field food preservation, agriculture, and other industries apart from medicine for diagnosis and therapy.

Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC)

BARC is India’s premier nuclear research facility based in Mumbai, Maharashtra. It is multi-disciplinary research center with extensive infrastructure for advanced research and development. Its R&D covers entire spectrum of nuclear science, engineering and related areas. BARC’s core mandate is to sustain peaceful applications of nuclear energy, primarily for power generation.

Month: Categories: Science and Technology Current Affairs - 2018