India is not only competent in building high capacity nuclear reactors but has achieved complete mastery over the entire nuclear fuel cycle, a top scientist said on Wednesday.
"India is one of the very few countries which has such a comprehensive ability, besides being capable of coming up with nuclear reactors with a capacity of 540 MW," Bhabha Atomic Research Centre Director S Banerjee said.
The plutonium plant located inside BARC in Trombay has been operating efficiently to refuel the Madras and Kaiga atomic power plants, he said.
The plant concurrently processes spent fuel and rejected depleted uranium pellets that were needed to refuel the two plants, Banerjee said at Independence Day celebrations in BARC.
Processing of spent fuel is done at PREFRE in Tarapur, which has achieved record production during the past six months, he said.
Vitrification of high level waste is being done at the Trombay waste immobilisation plant. Six "over packs" have been safely and successfully transferred from Trombay and stored in the spent fuel storage facility in Tarapur, he said.
The advanced vitrification system in Tarapur will shortly complete a year of successful and safe operations. A record 120 cubic metres of high level waste has so far been vitrified at the facility.
The cold crucible, a third generation melter, was regularly operated to generate valuable operational data. Based on this, the design of a melter with increased throughput that can be remotely operated is being finalised, Banerjee said while listing BARC's achievements.