After 15 years of research, development and construction, India’s first Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR), the second of its kinds in the world is nearing completion in Kalpakkam. This plant has the potential of becoming the greatest source of renewable energy for the country.
The successful development of this nuclear power plant is a testimony to the fact that India is determined to find more efficient and renewable sources of energy to meet its rising demands.
Coal India Limited, the largest coal company of the world, recently announced its plans to shut 37 of its mines in the current financial year. With ever rising energy demands of the country, finding alternative sources of energy is imperative.
The country’s biggest achievements in the area of locating renewable sources of energy have come from the development of nuclear power capabilities. And the latest nuclear power plant that the country has built is one-of-a-kind.
Nuclear scientists of India have been working on a huge nuclear power plant on the shores of the Bay of Bengal, in Kalpakkam, Tamil Nadu. Unlike other nuclear power plants in the country, the one in Kalpakkam is a fast breeder nuclear reactor.
Indian scientists have been working hard on this technology for 27 years which was just an experimental facility known as Fast-Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR) at the stage of its commencement. These reactors typically make use of uranium to generate power, which is not commonly found in India. However, our country is the second largest source of thorium in the world, and this plant makes use of thorium rods to generate power.
This reactor differs from conventional nuclear power plants as it can produce 70 per cent more energy and is safer than its traditional counterparts.