INS Arihant submarine’s reactor achieves criticality
The reactor of India’s first indigenous nuclear powered submarine, Arihant achieved criticality i.e. the self sustaining nuclear reaction which is the first step towards the stable production of power.
About INS Arihant:
- India’s first indigenously built nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine.
- It has been jointly developed by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Navy.
- It is about 111 metres long, 11 metres broad and about 15 metres tall and is designed to be propelled by a Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) that uses enriched uranium as fuel, and light water as both coolant and moderator. The PWR will generate about 80 MWt.
- The submarine will eventually be fitted with K-15 underwater fired missiles, which can hit targets 700 km away. The K-15 missiles are capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
Note: Only five countries in the world possess nuclear powered submarines- the U.S., Russia, the U.K., France and China. Apart from India, Brazil is also working on naval nuclear propulsion.