India plans to build new sodium plant

16 January 2020

A foundation stone laying ceremony at the Baroda heavy water plant (HWP) in India has marked the inauguration of a new facility that will allow the country to produce high purity sodium metal on an industrial scale. India up to now has imported the material, which is used in fast breeder reactors.

The inauguration ceremony for the new sodium plant (Image: DAE)

The foundation stone was laid at Baroda on 5 January by K N Vyas, chairman of India's Atomic Energy Commission and secretary of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE).

The industrial plant is being built following the successful operation of a demonstration plant, and will ultimately have a production capacity of 600 tonnes of sodium per year, DAE said. As well as its use in fast breeder reactors, high purity sodium is also used in the manufacture of insecticides, synthetic detergent, dyes, vitamins and drugs.

Activities at Baroda are also being expanded to allow the industrial-scale manufacture of specially deuterated compounds which are presently being imported, DAE said, while a collaboration is planned with MS University, Baroda for development of deuterated drug compounds.

"With these programmes, HWP, Baroda will become a centre for yet another innovative technology's development and demonstration for Make in India for specialty materials," it said.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News