Indian PM dedicates demonstration reprocessing plant

04 January 2024

The Demonstration Fast Reactor Fuel Reprocessing Plant (DFRP) is a precursor to large-scale plants for the reprocessing of fast reactor fuel.

The project was one of several dedicated to the nation by Modi during his visit to Tamil Nadu (Image: X/@DAEIndia)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi ceremonially dedicated the DFRP, at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) in Kalpakkam, to the nation on 2 January.

The facility - which has cost INR400 crore (about USD48 million - 1 crore is 10 million) to develop - is the first industrial-scale plant in the world that is capable of handling both carbide and oxide spent fuels from fast reactors, according to India's Department of Atomic Energy. The Indian-designed facility will serve as a precursor to large-scale commercial fast reactor fuel reprocessing plants.

Fast reactors are part of India's vision for a closed nuclear fuel cycle and making use of its abundant reserves of thorium. IGCAR is home to the MWt Fast Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR), in operation since 1985. Work on a 500 MWe prototype fast breeder reactor - the PFBR - began at Kalpakkam in 2004; in August last year, Minister of State Jitendra Singh told the Lok Sabha that the unit was undergoing "integrated commissioining".

In 2017, IGCAR awarded Hindustan Construction Company a contract worth INR 7.64 billion to construct the Fast Reactor Fuel Cycle Facility (FRFCF) to reprocess used fuel from the PFBR.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News