India has the second largest population in the world. Thus it has a huge demand for electricity. Therefore, the country largely based on the renewable energy game.
As the country works to develop its renewable energy sources, now its biggest achievement yet has come from nuclear energy. Now, Indian nuclear scientists are in the final throes of starting a high-tech giant stove i.e., novel nuclear reactor.
This novel nuclear technology is a kind of an ‘Akshaya Patra’, the mythical goblet with a never-ending supply of food.
Since 15 years, Indian scientists are working on a gigantic nuclear facility in Kalpakkam, the Bay of Bengal near Chennai. This gigantic reactor is a fast breeder nuclear reactor. Although the fast breeder nuclear reactor is the technology on which Indian scientists have been working to perfect for 27 years now, with an experimental facility called a Fast-Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR).
Unlike conventional nuclear plants, the fast breeder reactors are neutrons that sustain the atomic chain reaction travel at higher velocities. Additionally, due to elemental uranium, they hold the potential of generating more fuel that it consumes.
Uranium is uncommon in India. But as the country has the second largest store of thorium, so the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) in Kalpakkam uses rods of that element.
Yukiya Amano, Director General of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna said, “Fast reactors can help extract up to 70 percent more energy than traditional reactors and are safer than traditional reactors while reducing long-lived radioactive waste by several folds.”
Before India’s PFBR, Russia’s Beloyarsk Nuclear Power Plant was the only commercially operating fast breeder nuclear reactor located in the Ural Mountains. This power plant makes us of elemental uranium. China is also planning for the similar program, but it will take a long time.
Arun Kumar Bhaduri, Director of the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR), Kalpakkam, said, “the technology is safe: Fast breeder reactors are far safer than the current generation of nuclear plants.”
“With the PFBR, India is pioneering a kind of nuclear technology that could potentially be the country’s greatest renewable energy source.”
India is very energy hungry and as economic growth takes place mega quantities of electricity will be required. Unfortunately, nature has not been bountiful on India as the Indian land mass is not endowed with enough uranium but on the other hand, the country has the world’s second largest store of thorium.
Today the country in a well thought out strategy is mastering fast breeder reactors that can be an effective via media for utilizing the vast thorium reserves.