India’s oldest research reactor 'Apsara', which was shut down permanently in 2009 for repair, was recommissioned with a higher capacity on September 10, 2018 at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay.
The refurbished version of the reactor is named as ‘Apsara-upgraded’ (Apsara-U).
As per Dr Homi J. Bhabha, the father of Indian Nuclear programme, “Research reactors are the back bone of Nuclear Programme”.
Considering this, Apsara, the first research reactor of Asia, became operational in Trombay campus of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in August 1956. Apsara is a light water swimming pool-type reactor with a maximum power output of one megawatt thermal (MWt). The reactor burns enriched uranium in the form of aluminum alloyed curved plates.
After more than five decades of service, the reactor was shut down in 2009.
Apsara-U research reactor
• This swimming pool type research reactor of higher capacity comes nearly 62 years after Apsara came into existence.
• The reactor, made indigenously, uses plate type dispersion fuel elements made of Low Enriched Uranium (LEU).
• This reactor will increase indigenous production or radio-isotopes for medical application by about 50 percent.
• It would also be extensively used for research in nuclear physics, material science and radiation shielding.
• The development re-emphasises the capability of Indian scientists and Engineers to build complex facilities for health care, science education and research.
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