IIT-Kharagpur, IGCAR forges alliance to support India’s Indigenous Nuclear Program

IIT-Kharagpur, IGCAR forges alliance –  In what could be termed as a significant turn of events that should propel the second stage of India’s nuclear program, the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam has forged alliance with the premier educational institution, the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IIT – Kharagpur) to carry out research pertaining to the design and development of Fast Breeder Reactors (FBRs).

As per the report, a dedicated IGCAR-IITKGP R&D cell has been set up in the premises of IIT Kharagpur under the Advanced Technology Development Centre’s Structural Reliability Research Facility of IIT KGP. What’s more, the Centre will address key issues in software and systems reliability, safety and security, health monitoring, materials and manufacturing.

Recalling IIT KGP’s long-standing collaboration with BARC and IGCAR leading to the creation of the Structural Reliability Research Facility of IIT KGP, Baidurya Bhattacharya, co-convener of the IGCAR-IITKGP Research and Development Cell, noted that several key experimental and computational setups will be created through the new initiative to enable researchers at IIT Kharagpur to develop technology that can be easily translated into the FBRs.

IGCAR has been pursuing indigenous technology development for sodium-cooled FBRs since 1971 and has designed the country’s first techno-commercial demonstrator fast breeder reactor, the 500 MWe Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR), said the report.

The research collaboration with IIT Kharagpur will further the aim to functionalised the fully indigenous FBRs for the commercial production of nuclear power. Commenting on the development, Arun Kumar Bhaduri, Director, IGCAR said, “The collaboration with IIT KGP will lead to indigenous design and development of reliable software, electronics and structures.”

Pallab Dasgupta, Dean, Sponsored Research and Industry Consultancy, said, “The collaboration between IGCAR and IIT Kharagpur is of huge strategic importance. IIT Kharagpur has the necessary expertise to provide R&D support to IGCAR in core areas like safety critical and reliable software, health monitoring of reactors, materials and manufacturing.”

Laying emphasis on FBRs for meeting the energy needs of the country, Bhaduri said, “FBRs are inevitable for long term security and sustainability of clean energy, particularly for a country like India with moderate uranium reserves and large thorium reserves.”

IGCAR is one of India’s premier nuclear research centres. It is the second largest establishment of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), next to Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), located at Kalpakkam, 80 kilometres south of Chennai, India. It was established in 1971 as an exclusive centre dedicated to the pursuit of fast reactor science and technology, due to the vision of Dr Vikram Sarabhai. Originally, the organisation was called as Reactor Research Centre (RRC).

It was renamed as Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) by the then Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi in December 1985. The Centre is engaged in a broad-based multidisciplinary program of scientific research and advanced engineering directed towards the development of Fast Breeder Reactor technology, in India.

Image source: energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com

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