India puts four more nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards

M Somasekhar Hyderabad | Updated on September 19, 2018 Published on September 19, 2018

Sekhar Basu   -  THE HINDU

India has decided to place four more reactors under the IAEA safeguards. Accordingly, two Russian-designed Pressurised Light Water Reactors and two Pressurised Heavy Reactors being built with Indian technology will be covered.

With this, a total of 26 Indian nuclear facilities will be under the international nuclear energy watchdog. This was stated by Sekhar Basu, Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission and Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy, at the 62nd General Conference of IAEA Vienna, Austria, on Wednesday.

Basu, whose extended term in office ended on Wednesday, reiterated the primacy to IAEA in its central role in promotion of atomic energy for peaceful uses and prosperity of the mankind while maintaining its due support in safeguards.

Nuclear programme

Giving an update on the country’s nuclear power programme, Basu said the plans to build 21 reactors by 2030 was on track. Discussions with foreign partners for bringing different technology are also on, he said.

“We have signed the industrial-way-forward agreement between NPCIL, India and EDF of France in March for the establishment of six nuclear power reactors of EPR technology,” he said.

The indigenously developed prototype fast breeder reactor of 500 MWe is undergoing sodium commissioning and criticality is expected next year.

Record performance

In power generation, a notable achievement was one of the longest run of reactor Unit-1 of Kaiga plant.

By reaching 859 days of continuous operation, it has become the third longest running plant in the world. Four other reactors also continue to operate for 450 days and above. “These achievements establish the soundness of technology and efficiency in operation and maintenance,” the Atomic Energy Chief claimed. The units 1&2 at Karapar Power Station experienced pressure tube leaks. After an indepth study of the root cause and detailed evaluation by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), these units have been permitted to restart. On Monday, Unit 2 was restarted after coolant channel replacement, he added.

The DAE has signed an agreement with the Department of Natural Resources of Canada on Science & Technology and Innovation and another with VINATOM of Vietnam on training and capacity building. In April, an inter-governmental collaboration was inked with Fermilab in the field of Neutrino Physics during the visit of US Secretary of Energy.

Cancer care

Tata Memorial Centre (TMC) has played a significant role in enhancing the capacity of trained manpower to deal with the problem of cancer by short term and long-term training to IAEA fellows. Over 150 personnel from Africa and Asia have been trained in the field of cancer care.

Published on September 19, 2018
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