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Fast breeder reactor - Why?

Please clarify this doubt:

fast breeding reactor was in news recently to be commissioned by March 2015 in kalpakkam.
I don't understand why india is keen to develop such technology which had been tried and abandoned in other developed countries.
This technology(when came into being around 1960) primarily seems to be concerned with the presumption that in future uranium resources would be scarce and costlier. But the situation changed after cold war. Source: wiki.

18 July the hindu reports news related to commissioning a new plant with indigenously developed technology.
First attempt in 2014 - couldn't clear prelims, second to be in 2018
Optional - medical sciences


  • edited July 2014
    India is deficient in Uranium. Thorium - we have enough. FBRs would make it possible for us to use Thorium in the 3rd stage. Full story here:'s_three-stage_nuclear_power_programme

    It's a part of our 3-stage nuclear power programme.
    Prelims : 2/5; Mains : 0/2; Interview : 0; Remainder : 1+1 (Tired but not; Retired) / Medical Science / Kolkata / Nihilist extraordinaire | Thanks a lot...
  • edited July 2014
    You already know that FBRs consume less fuel than they produce.. i e they generate more nuclear fuel, in our case Plutonium 239. There are enough Uranium reserves in the world but India was denied import of Uranium because of obvious reasons we already know (not a signatory to NPT which means we give up nuclear weapons). But this changed post India-US nuclear deal when we got NSG waiver.

    So Proto-type FBR at Kalpakkam signifies an important mile stone in our three stage nuclear program. Read more about it. So FBR marks our step to second stage which after mastering we would move towards third stage where we would be using Thorium based reactors. This three stage program is to make India self sufficient in our nuclear energy sphere because we are starved of Uranium reserves and have abundant Thorium reserves.
    2. fast breeder reactor
    3.advanced heavy water nuclear reactor

    A pressurized heavy-water reactor (PHWR) is a nuclear power reactor, commonly using unenriched natural uranium as its fuel, that uses heavy water (deuterium oxide D2O) as its coolant and moderator. The heavy-water coolant is kept under pressure, allowing it to be heated to higher temperatures without boiling, much as in a PWR. While heavy water is significantly more expensive than ordinary light water, it yields greatly enhanced neutron economy, allowing the reactor to operate without fuel-enrichment facilities (mitigating the additional capital cost of the heavy water) and generally enhancing the ability of the reactor to efficiently make use of alternate fuel cycles.

    A breeder reactor is a nuclear reactor capable of generating more fissile material than it consumes.[1] These devices are able to achieve this feat because their neutron economy is high enough to breed more fissile fuel than they use from fertile material like uranium-238 or thorium-232.

    The advanced heavy-water reactor (AHWR) is the latest Indian design for a next-generation nuclear reactor that burns thorium in its fuel core. It is slated to form the third stage in India's three-stage fuel-cycle plan

    Dr. Homi Bhabha conceived of the three-stage nuclear programme as a way to develop nuclear energy by working around India's limited uranium resources.[10][11][12]
    Thorium itself is not a fissile material, and thus cannot undergo fission to produce energy. Instead, it must first be converted into the fissile isotope uranium-233 by transmutation in a reactor fueled by other fissile materials. The first two stages, natural uranium-fueled heavy water reactors and plutonium-fueled fast breeder reactors, are intended to generate sufficient fissile material from India's limited uranium resources, so that all its vast thorium reserves can be fully utilised in the third stage of thermal breeder reactors.[13]
    Nuclear transmutation is the conversion of one chemical element or isotope into another. In other words, atoms of one element can be changed into atoms of another element by 'transmutation'. This occurs either through nuclear reactions (in which an outside particle reacts with a nucleus), or through radioactive decay (where no outside particle is needed). Transmutation technology has the potential to greatly reduce the long-term negative effects of radioactive wastes on human populations by reducing its radioactive half-life.[
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