DAE Current Affairs
The 27th Fusion Energy Conference (FEC 2018) was held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. The six-day event is organised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and hosted by Department of Atomic Energy and Gandhinagar-based Institute of Plasma Research.
The aim of FEC 2018 was to provide forum for discussion of key physics and technology issues as well as innovative concepts of direct relevance to the use of nuclear fusion (reaction that powers Sun and stars) as a source of energy. During this conference, experts from across the world discussed innovative concepts on using nuclear fusion as source of energy. They also discussed new challenges being faced by fusion community in the light of a number of next-step fusion devices being implemented currently. Among participants included international bodies like ITER Organisation and European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom). The research institutes involved in developing smaller plasma devices also participated.
Heavy Water Board (HWB), a constituent industrial unit of Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) signed an collaborative agreement with Clearsynth, Mumbai for sale of 20 tonnes of Heavy Water in year. It will be sold for development of deuterium labeled compounds, NMR Solvents, d-labeled Active Pharma Ingredients (APIs).
This deal marks beginning of important era in t annals of Indian Nuclear industry leading to societal benefits for masses. During previous years, Indian industries had imported deuterated compounds and Heavy Water to tune of 9 Million USD. This collaborative agreement will initiate import substitution for deuterated compounds and Heavy Water.
Heavy Water Board (HWB)
HWB is constituent unit under DAE in the Central Government. It is primarily responsible for production of Heavy Water (D2O) which is used as ‘moderator’ and ‘Coolant’ in nuclear power as well as research reactors. It is also engaged with production of different types of nuclear grade solvents and extraction of rare materials. HWB currently operates 7 heavy water plants around the country.
It is also known as deuterium oxide (D2O). It is form of water that contains large amount of hydrogen isotope deuterium (heavy hydrogen). Deuterium differs from hydrogen which is usually found in water. Heavy water may be deuterium protium oxide (DHO) or deuterium oxide (D2O). The presence of deuterium increase mass of water and gives different chemical and physical property compared to normal water.
Heavy water is used in certain types of nuclear reactors, where it acts as a neutron moderator to slow down neutrons. It also used in nuclear magnetic resonance, organic chemistry, fourier transform spectroscopy, neutron moderator, neutrino detector, tritium production and metabolic rate testing in physiology and biology.