Nuclear Technology Current Affairs

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

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.

Apsara-upgraded

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

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President inaugurates Integrated Centre for Crisis Management for CBRN emergencies at BARC

President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated Integrated Centre for Crisis Management (ICCM) at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The ICCM will help nation to respond more effectively to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) emergencies. It will monitor radiological data from a network of 504 radiation sensors across the country.

Other launches

  • Multi-leaf collimator system: It has been developed by BARC. It is used radiotherapy as it enables gamma radiation to be exposed only on cancer-affected organs.
  • Trombay Chhattisgarh Dubraj Mutant-1: It is high-yielding dwarf variety of Dubraj mutant rice. It is 43rd high-yielding crop variety developed by BARC.

President Kovind also remotely inaugurated three other nuclear facilities of Department of Atomic Energy (DEA). They are

  • Metal fuel pin fabrication facility: It has been jointly developed by BARC and Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research at Kalpakkam, near Chennai, Tamil Nadu. It will help to increase plutonium production in fast breeder reactors.
  • High-power electron beam melting furnace: It is jointly developed by scientists of BARC and Nuclear Fuel Complex. It will be used for nuclear and strategic applications.
  • Integrated enriched boron tri-fluoride gas generation facility: It was developed by Heavy-water Board in Odisha. It will be used in neutron detectors.

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

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