Nuclear Power Current Affairs - 2020

Kakrapar Atomic Power Plant reaches criticality

On July 22, 2020, PM Modi congratulated Kakrapur Atomic Plant of Gujarat to reach its criticality. Criticality is reaching normal operating condition.

Highlights

The Kakrapar Atomic Plant produces power from indigenously built reactors and is a major step of GoI in promoting Make in India campaign. The reactor generates 700 MW of power.

Background

The Kakrapur Nuclear Power Plant began its commercial nuclear power production in 1993. In 2015, two of its units were shut down due to coolant leaks. Later, int 2018 the power plant reached partial criticality. The leaks were due to corrosion and cracks

Nuclear Power in India

There are 22 nuclear power reactors in India. Till 1990s, Russia was the major supplier of Uranium to India. The waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers Group in 2008 allowed India to commence International Nuclear Trade. Later India signed Nuclear Energy Technology Cooperation with countries such as US, UK, South Korea and Canada. India has also signed agreements on Uranium supply with Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Namibia, Argentina.

In 2011, large deposits of Uranium were discovered in Tummlapalle belt in Andhra Pradesh and Bhima basin of Karnataka. Today, India has 44,000 tonnes of natural Uranium reserves. This is one of top 20 uranium reserve discoveries in the world.

Uranium

Kazakhstan is the largest supplier of Uranium to India providing 5,000 tonnes between 2015 and 2019.

Iran seeks Financial Help from IMF first time since 1962 to fight against Corona Virus

For the first time since 1962, Iran is seeking the help of International Monetary Fund. Since Islamic Revolution Iran stopped getting help from IMF.

IMF and Corona Virus

Earlier, this month, IMF allocated emergency funds to middle income countries. The international banking institution, allocated 50 billion USD to fund middle-income and poor countries. Also, it allocated 10 billion USD to low income countries.

Iran

Iran has been facing economic challenges due to US sanctions. After US had withdrawn from JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), it had imposed sanctions on Iran.

Iran-US relations

The countries had cordial relations till World War II. However, as the arms race began between US and USSR, US began sensing USSR’s backing towards Iran. In 1953, US and British forces ousted democratically elected Iranian PM Mohammad Mossadeq. In 1979, during the Iranian Revolution, the US backed Mohammed Reza Pahlevi was forced to leave the country.

In 2000, Iran began developing nuclear weapons and the United Nations imposed several rounds of sanctions. In 2018, US abandoned nuclear deal JCPOA. In 2020, the Iran top commander Qasem Soleimani was killed by a US drone.