Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee said on Tuesday that the country would commission the indigenously developed 500 MW Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) by the year 2010.
The production of nuclear power from PFBR would mark the beginning of an era of fast reactors in the country, which would propel India to a world leadership position in this area in the near future, he said at a function here to mark the 20th year of commissioning of the Fast Breeder Test Reactor.
Mukherjee said the reprocessing technology of fast reactor fuel is complex and demanding, so much so that it has been mastered by only a few countries in the world.
"India's success in this crucial pursuit gives us confidence that we will be able to extract plutonium and uranium from the irradiated fuel coming out of PFBR. This technology will enable us to leverage our limited indigenous uranium resources manifold," he said.
The current indigenous uranium resources are capable of generating 10,000 MW in Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWR), he said.
Plutonium, extracted by reprocessing irradiated PHWR fuel, would in turn be able to generate more than five lakh Mwe through fast breeders and associated, closed fuel cycles, he added.
"The planned contribution of FBR is 2.5 Gwe by 2020 and more than 200 Gwe by 2050," he said.