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This is where it all began

india Updated: Aug 28, 2010 22:46 IST
Snehal Rebello

There are four research reactors at BARC that are used for neutron beam research, production of radioisotopes for application in the fields of medicine and industry.

August 4, 1956: The 1 megawatt APSARA was India’s first nuclear reactor to achieve criticality and the production of radioisotopes in the field of medicine and industry started with its commissioning. The Apsara reactor has been decommissioned and is being refurbished and upgraded to 2 megawatts to increase its utilisation. It is scheduled to become operational in 2012. Under the Indo-US civil nuclear deal separation plan, imported enriched fuel in the reactor will be replaced by indigenous low enriched uranium fuel.

July 10, 1960: The 50-year-old Cirus reactor attained criticality. The 40-megawatt research reactor was refurbished for research work and production of medical radioisotopes in 2005. But as per the separation plan under the Indo-US civil nuclear deal, the reactor will be shut down and decommissioned by December 2010.

August 8, 1985: The 100 megawatt Dhruva reactor went critical. But the reactor attained full capacity in 1988. The larger version of Cirus, it is involved in research in frontier areas of science and technology.

April 2008: Called the Critical facility, it is being used in the studying the physics of the Advanced Heavy Water Reactor.