Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The deal.....

Meanwhile...... did we applaud our scientists enough?

or have we lost our faith in them?

India’s thorium success
The Financial Express
Posted online: IST

Tuesday , May 13, 2008 at 2233 hrs

Homi Jehangir Bhabha, the Indian physicist, had stayed in Europe before World War II, and made important discoveries about cosmic rays. Upon his return to India, he campaigned for Indian research institutions devoted to physics and nuclear energy. Shortly after Indian independence in 1947, Bhabha was assigned the task of establishing the India’s Atomic Energy Commission, and developing a nuclear research programme.

During the first UN Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy (1955), Bhabha argued that India lacked energy resources, and for the Indian people to have a Western standard of living, Indian electricity must be generated by nuclear means. He once remarked that, “No energy is costlier than no energy.” In the 1950s, with American and Canadian help, India began to make its first reactor, the heavywater Cirus.

[For fuel self-sufficiency], Bhabha believed that the Indian nuclear research must be directed toward the development of the thorium fuel cycle—via a three-stage programme. In the first stage, heavywater reactors using unenriched uranium derived from India’s limited uranium reserve, would be constructed. The use of heavywater reactors meant that India did not need expensive uranium enrichment facilities. During the second stage, India was to construct fast breeder reactors, which burned plutonium reprocessed from the spent fuel of the heavywater reactors as well as their depleted uranium. During the third stage, thorium was to be bred, and U-233 would fuel Indian power reactors.

Indians have been faithful to Bhabha’s vision. They have found a highly fuel efficient technology by ingeniously mastering and organising relatively old nuclear technologies, and leveraging them into a fuel efficient system. India is on the brink of a significant accomplishment.

A breakthrough for India – Thorium reactor makes civilian nuke deal with America unnecessary
Shova pundit
Jul. 2, 2007

Strategically India needs the nuke deal with America. But technologically, India achieved a solid breakthrough that will make the nuclear deal with American unnecessary. A team of scientists at a premier Indian nuclear facility has designed an innovative reactor that can run on thorium - available in abundance in the country - and will eventually do away with the need for uranium.

That is a fitting reply to the Australians that sold Uranium to China in abundance and refused India any Uranium. It is also a fitting reply to America trying to control Indian nuclear independence.


  1. I think that is the best bet strategically - Tho2 based fuel has already been tried by us at Kalpakkam and the U233 made there is used at Kamini. Kerala as you know has an abundance of Thorium. I think it is geopolitics that is putting brakes on this activity.We have according to reports between 13-32% of worlds thorium reserves!!

  2. hardly my subject... but as rightly pointed out, it's our nation's currently raging topic.

    politics, necessity, capability and technology - when mixed... hope it doesn't churn out a 'raw deal'..!!!!!

  3. Maddy: yes we are second to only to Australia in thorium reserves..

    Kat: Now that the country has reached this stage, the only hope is hoping against hope that it doesnt turn out to be a "raw" deal..


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