Indian prototype FBR delayed

15 February 2010

India's first fast breeder reactor (FBR) is likely to be delayed by up to one year, a senior official from the Department of Atomic Energy told the Business Standard newspaper. The 500 MWe prototype FBR, under construction at Kalpakkam, near Chennai, Tamil Nadu state, was initially expected to be commissioned by the end of 2010. However, the unnamed official said, "There have been some delays in the commissioning of Kalpakkam FBR. This is because many equipment are being made for the first time in India as it is an indigenous reactor." He added that the delay could be between couple of months to one year, and that the FBR is now expected to be commissioned in 2011. In 2002, the regulatory authority issued approval to start construction of the prototype FBR. It is being built by Bhavini, a government enterprise set up to focus on FBRs. On 5 December 2009, construction of the prototype FBR reached a major milestone with installation of the main vessel. Construction of the prototype FBR will take India's ambitious thorium program to stage two, and set the scene for eventual full utilisation of the country's abundant thorium resources to fuel reactors. Four more such fast reactors have been announced for construction by 2020.