Sunday, March 08, 2009

NUKE ப்ரோடோகோல்/ருலேர்ஸ் முச்ட் லுக் அட் his

The governors of IAEA board approved a 31 page "CONCLUSION OF SAFEGUARDS AGREEMENTS AND ADDITIONAL PROTOCOL" which will allow the IAEA inspectors additional powers. This additional power will allow the Inspectors to inspect 100 additional nuclear related materials including software and hardware.This will include the following.
1.Entire reactor
2.Heavy water plants,
3.Reactor core groups,
4.Coolant and vacuum pumps
5.Parts of fuel producing centrifuges,
7.Uranium metal products
8.Laser systems
Not a single question from NDA stalwarts like Jaswant singh,Yeshwant Sinha ,Arun shourie
Not a single question from Praksh Karat and Yechury
Not a single question from Media or discussion on this issue.
Of course it is UPA which has signed this additional protocol.
What is funny about the whole issue is our so called intellectuals asked Musharaff at India Today summit was about Dawood Ibrahim!!!
Nobody asked him how could a nation which is 1/4th size of India can demand PARITY which he espoused openly.
Nobody asked about Shimla agreement
Nobody asked about privatization of terror and whether a nation can be absolved of the crime if so called "private actors" commit terror?

I am adding the following article by former Chairman of Indian atomic energy commission for information of all.

A lesson in nuclear reactors

M.R. Srinivasan

India is a world leader in PHWRs. While currently available uranium can
support some 10,000 MW, we may double that using uranium from overseas or from
new finds in India.

A great deal has been written on nuclear reactors in our media in recent
months by commentators, many of whom are unfamiliar with what a nuclear reactor
is. To make the whole debate relating to the Indo-U.S. nuclear agreement more
meaningful, I propose in this article to describe what a nuclear reactor is and
the differences among the many covered by the discussions.
A nuclear reactor is one where a controlled self-sustaining nuclear reaction
takes place in which uranium nuclei fission (or break up) releasing energy,
manifesting as heat. There are two basic types of reactors, those wherein the
neutrons produced in the fission process are slowed down for facilitating
further fission of uranium. These reactors are called slow neutron reactors or
thermal reactors (the reason is that the neutron velocities are in thermal
equilibrium with ambient temperatures) . In such reactors, the uranium is
dispersed in a slowing down medium (called moderator), which can be graphite,
ordinary water (of high purity, called light water in nuclear parlance) or heavy
water (present in natural water to the extent of one part in seven thousand).

In a fast reactor, the fission process takes place with high-energy neutrons,
not requiring a moderator. But it is necessary to use concentrated fissile
materials such as highly enriched uranium or plutonium. In these reactors, large
amounts of heat are produced from a small volume thus requiring special
materials for taking away the heat.
Removal of heat from thermal reactors is done with coolants such as carbon
dioxide gas or light water or heavy water. In fast reactors, it is necessary to
employ a coolant such as molten sodium.
Among thermal reactors, there are two basic types, those that can use natural
uranium as fuel and those that require enriched uranium as fuel. Naturally
occurring uranium has two components U235, present to the extent of one part in
one hundred and forty parts, which is fissionable, and U238, which is not
fissionable (except with high energy neutrons). But U238 gets converted to
artificially created fissionable material plutonium 239, after irradiation in a
reactor. Similarly, thorium 232 is not fissionable but gets converted to fissile
U233 after irradiation in a reactor. To gain access to Pu239 or U233, it is
necessary to "reprocess" the spent fuel consisting of irradiated U238 or
In the early days of nuclear development, enrichment of uranium was carried
out primarily to produce weapon grade U235. The U.S., U.S.S.R., Britain and
China built enrichment plants as part of their weapons programmes. France and
later India used reactor-produced plutonium for the initial nuclear explosions.
The U.S., U.S.S.R., Britain and China also produced reactor made plutonium for
their weapons. The U.S. and U.S.S.R. took up development of nuclear propulsion
reactors for submarines and these reactors used enriched uranium as fuel and
light water as moderator and coolant. These reactor designs were scaled up to
provide designs for production of electricity. Such reactors are called Light
Water Reactors (LWR) in the West and VVER in the Soviet Union. Typically, these
reactors use uranium enriched to between 3 and 5 per cent; submarine reactors
use a higher level of enrichment.
The LWRs developed in the U.S. have two variants; those that produce steam in
the reactor vessel are called Boiling Water Reactors (BWR) and those where the
hot water from the reactor produces steam in external steam generators are
called the Pressurised Water Reactors (PWRs). The LWRs have also been adopted in
France, Germany, Japan and Korea, after getting the technology from the U.S. The
VVER developed in Russia was adopted in East Europe (formerly part of the Soviet
Bloc) and also in Finland, India (Kudankulam) and China.
Britain and France which initially did not have large uranium enrichment
capability developed a graphite moderated carbon dioxide cooled reactor that
could use natural uranium as fuel. These are called GCR or Magnox reactors.
Britain had a further variant of the GCR called Advanced Gas Cooled Reactor
(AGR) which used slightly enriched uranium. While a number of GCRs were built in
Britain and France and some AGRs in Britain, adverse economics and operational
complexities resulted in suspending this design.
Canada worked on another reactor design that could use natural uranium as
fuel with heavy water as moderator and coolant. The Canadians call it CANDU
reactor and the international nuclear community calls it the Pressurised Heavy
Water Reactor (PHWR). From the inception of India´s nuclear energy programme, it
had zeroed in on reactors that could use natural uranium (available in India,
though of low grade and not very extensive) as fuel. It chose the PHWR system
developed in Canada and cooperated with the latter on its second nuclear power
station located in Rajasthan. India had chosen a two-unit BWR station designed
by the U.S. for the first nuclear power station located at Tarapur, based on
international competitive bidding.
The PHWR system fitted well into India´s eventual plans to utilise the energy
potential of thorium, of which it has a large quantity. The PHWRs are efficient
producers of plutonium, needed to fuel Fast Breeder Reactors (FBRs). The FBRs
can irradiate thorium in the blanket region and produce U233. U233 can then be
used with thorium in thermal or fast reactors. India has designed an Advanced
Thermal Reactor (ATR) of 300 MW which will work on U233-Th fuel cycle.
Construction work on this may commence in 2008.
Apart from Canada, India is one of the producers of heavy water in industrial
quantities and has developed on its own a number of processes for the purpose.
India produces all special materials, such as zirconium, and all equipment for
PHWRs. It has standardised 220 MW units, of which is has built 10 reactors and
four more are in an advanced stage of completion. It also completed two 540 MW
reactors at Tarapur recently. It has finalised the design of a 700 MW unit which
will be built in a number of locations. India-designed and built PHWRs are the
lowest cost reactors in the world.
However, more than 80 per cent of the power reactors operating in the world
are LWRs (including VVER which belongs to the same generic type, though there
are some important engineering differences) . Initially the U.S. and later
France, Germany and Japan (in cooperation with the U.S.) and the USSR (now
Russia) built strong industrial capabilities to build LWRs. Electric power
utilities find it simpler and more convenient to operate LWRs as they have
features flowing out of conventional coal-fired steam power technology.
Natural uranium reactors, both Magnox (GCR) and PHWR, require to be fed with
fresh fuel regularly (on a daily basis). Some spent fuel has to be taken out
when the reactor is operating. The PHWRs, due to their inherent lower
reactivity, have a limitation on how quickly they can restart and be loaded,
after an interruption due to any fault. The LWRs do not suffer from this
disability. They can run for 15-18 months without a fuel change; the latter
requires the reactor to be off line for a month or so.
What India is looking for, if it can re-enter international nuclear commerce,
is to add some 40,000 MW in the time period 2010-2030. For this to happen, India
would like to access LWRs from Russia, France (Franco-German entity) and the
U.S. (in cooperation with Japan). There need be no apprehension that large
number of LWRs would be imported fully from overseas. Our industry already
supplies the whole range of equipment for PHWRs and will certainly participate
in supplying components for imported LWRs too. In fact, Korea and China, which
are building LWRs, have similar vigorous localisation programmes.
India is a world leader in PHWRs and while currently available uranium can
support some 10,000 MW, we may double that using uranium from overseas or from
new finds in India. India is also expected to have a lead role globally in
development of Fast Breeder Rectors and Thorium-based systems.
Hence the nervousness that India may become a dumping ground for LWRs from
the nuclear advanced countries to the detriment of India´s own nuclear
industrial capacity building is unwarranted. Re-entering the international civil
nuclear energy arena is good for India and good for the world, as it will
enhance the development of an important non-carbon source of energy.
and clarifications

(The writer is a former Chairman, and at present
member, of the Atomic Energy Commission.)