Towards the realization of the 2nd stage of our nuclear power program, significant developments have happened over the last one year. The filling of the Main Vessel of PFBR of BHAVINI with about 1,150 tonnes of liquid Sodium has been completed in a record time of 5 days in the month of August 2023. All the indigenously manufactured Primary and Secondary sodium pumps have been put in service successfully and integrated commissioning of the plant is in an advanced stage.

The Fast Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR), the flagship reactor of the second stage of the Indian nuclear power program, has completed 29 irradiation campaigns and thirty-six years of safe and successful operation, since its inception. The 30th campaign is presently in progress and is successfully operating at its design capacity of 40 MWt.

FBTR is located at Kalpakkam, which is a 40 MWt loop type, sodium cooled fast reactor. Its main objective is to provide experience in fast reactor operation, large scale sodium handling and to serve as a test bed for irradiation of future fast reactor fuels & advanced structural materials.

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The Kalpakkam PFBR is designed to use uranium-238 to breed plutonium in a sodium-cooled fast reactor design. The surplus plutonium (or uranium-233 for thorium reactors) from each fast reactor can be used to set up more such reactors and grow the nuclear capacity in tune with India's needs for power. The PFBR is a part of the three-stage nuclear power program.

India has the capability to use thorium cycle based processes to extract nuclear fuel. This is of special significance to the Indian nuclear power generation strategy as India has one of the world's largest reserves of thorium, which could provide power for more than 10,000 years, and perhaps as long as 60,000 years.

The reactor is a pool type LMFBR with 1,750 tons of sodium as coolant. Designed to generate 500 MWe of electrical power, with an operational life of 40 years, it will burn a mixed uranium-plutonium MOX fuel, a mixture of PuO2 and UO2. A fuel burnup of 100 GWd/t is expected. The Fuel Fabrication Facility (FFF), under the direction of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Tarapur is responsible for the fuel rods manufacturing. FFF comes under "Nuclear Recycle Board" of Bhabha Atomic Research Center and has been responsible for fuel rod manufacturing of various types in the past.FFF Tarapur in early 2023 had successfully completed fabrication of 100,000 PFBR fuel elements

FBTR heat transport system consists of two primary sodium loops, two secondary sodium loops and a tertiary steam water circuit. Heat generated in the reactor core is transported to the tertiary circuit through the primary and secondary sodium circuits. There are two modules of Steam Generators (12.5 MWt capacity) in each loop and SG modules are enclosed in a common casing. The SGs are not insulated to facilitate decay heat removal by natural convection of air through the casing. A 100% steam dump facility is provided in the steam water circuit to operate the reactor at full power for experimental purposes even when turbine is not available.