Robots to fabricate fuel for new Indian nuclear reactors

Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu) Oct 12 (IANS) With mega sized nuclear reactors set to dot the Indian atomic power landscape, the Hyderabad-based Nuclear Fuel Complex has decided to induct robots in the fuel fabrication process for new reactors – indigenous as well as imported.

‘We are planning to introduce robots in the fuel fabrication activities as the proposed reactors are big sized ones. We are also getting ready to fabricate fuels for different kinds of reactors- light water reactors (LWR), pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWR) and fast breeder reactors (FBR),’ its senior manager Meena Ravindran said here Tuesday.

She was here for the Asian Nuclear Prospects 2010 (ANUP 2010), a conference on nuclear power in Asia.

‘Robots will have to be inducted to do precision machining as the components of the new generation reactors are huge in size. Their number will depend on the prototype fast breeder reactor (PFBR),’ she said.

The Rs.5,600 crore PFBR is fast coming up at Kalpakkam near here and is expected to go on stream late next year or early 2012.

As India is planning to import around 34 LWRs, she said the fuel fabrication facilities for imported LWRs will be set up in discussion with the overseas fuel suppliers.

She said the imported LWRs are expected to start operating by 2016 and the spent fuel has to be reprocessed. The reprocessed fuel will then be used in ten 700MW PHWRs that are being planned.

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