PFBR to be commissioned in March 2015
Things are on track for commissioning of the 500 MWe Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) by the end of this financial year (March 2015) at Kalpakkam. Loading 1750 tonnes of liquid sodium in seven loops in the reactor will start in few weeks from now. Dummy fuel for testing purpose has already been loaded into the reactor.
While the uranium–plutonium mixed oxide fuel is the reactor, the liquid sodium coolant. Production of the 500 MWe PFBR will be soon as French nuclear scientist George Vendryes said, from 13 MWe Fast Breeder Reactor Test (FBTR) at Kalpakkam currently operational.
“The PFBR team is determined to move forward in compliance with all requirements specified by the regulatory authorities. We must ensure that the PFBR and functioning successfully. We must ensure that this technology breeder is safe, robust and cheap, “said Prabhat Kumar, CEO, Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Limited (BHAVINI).
BHAVINI, a public sector undertaking of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), has been commissioned to build a series of breeder reactors to ensure energy independence. The Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR), Kalpakkam, designed and developed the technology for PFBR. They are called breeder reactors because they breed more fuel than they consume.
Announcing that all electrical systems in the PFBR are completely ready the cheif scientist, Mr. Kumar said: “The PFBR is expected to be operated safely without sodium leak in the system. We need to transfer 1,750 tons of sodium ten tanks at seven loops. We finished most of the piping and instrumentation. We have stimulated most of the instruments to the control room. The test results so far are encouraging. Most systems are fully operational support and function satisfactorily. They include the raw water system, the system argon nitrogen service water system, air mask system, system, etc. All electrical systems, including switches yard and the battery banks are operational “.
This reactor is different from the fleet of pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWR) already operating in India. Manufacture of components involved PFBR gigantic reactors.