Arihant propulsion reactor unveiled | india | Hindustan Times
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Arihant propulsion reactor unveiled

india Updated: Aug 02, 2009 23:37 IST
MR Venkatesh

Barely a week after the launch of INS Arihant, India’s first nuclear submarine, the prototype of a little-known and highly guarded propulsion reactor fuelled by indigenously enriched uranium that made the building of the submarine possible, was unveiled for the first time to the world on Sunday.

“We have successfully demonstrated our indigenous capability to build a nuclear submarine with the development of a compact nuclear power pack for submarine applications,” S. Basu, Propulsion Reactor Project director and Anil Kakodkar, chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), declared here.

The 42-metre-long land-based prototype submarine with eight compartments housing complex electrical and control systems and simulating ocean conditions, is a virtual testing ground for “similar systems that will go into a sea boat,” Atomic Energy Department officials said.

After taking mediapersons around the critical facility of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) built at the Madras Atomic Power Station complex at Kalpakkam, about 60 km south of Chennai, the top scientists, including S. Banerjee, BARC director, disclosed key details of this “land-based prototype submarine”, whose 83 MW mini light water reactor (LWR) and other systems have gone into the making of the Arihant over the past five years.