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Nuclear reactor at Kalpakkam: World’s envy, India’s pride

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Kalpakkam Nuclear Plant

Yekateringburg (Russia), Jul 2 : Hidden from public, on the shores of the Bay of Bengal at Kalpakkam near Chennai, Indian nuclear scientists are in the final throes of starting a high-tech giant stove more than 15 years in the making.

This novel nuclear reactor is a kind of an ‘akshaya patra’, the mythical goblet with a never-ending supply of food.

The Department of Atomic Energy is getting ready to commission its ultra-modern indigenously designed and locally mastered fast breeder reactor.

Experts say to make nuclear energy sustainable, one sure shot way is to make fast breeder reactors mainstream.

Yukiya Amano, Director General of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, says “fast reactors can help extract up to 70 per cent more energy than traditional reactors and are safer than traditional reactors while reducing long lived radioactive waste by several fold.”

Easier said than done, since these reactors are also notoriously unstable and hence difficult to run reliably over long periods.

Called a ‘Fast Breeder Reactor’, these are a special kind of nuclear reactors that generate more atomic fuel than they consume as they work.

India has been running an experimental facility called a Fast Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR) now for 27 years.

This is a small nuclear reactor a forerunner for the monster that India has constructed at Kalpakkam called the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR). This will generate electricity commercially using the fast breeder route.

The world’s only commercially operating fast breeder reactor is situated in the Ural Mountains of Russia at the Beloyarsk Nuclear Power Plant, not far from Russia’s fourth largest city Yekateringburg.

The Russians today are the global leaders in fast breeder reactors having operated a fast breeder reactor called BN 600 since 1980.

In 2016, the Russian nuclear agency Rosatom commercially commissioned its big brother — the BN 800 fast breeder reactor.

This reactor produces about 800 MW of electricity and supplies it to the Ural region including the city of Yekateringburg.

While electricity that is produced is no different than any other electricity but the global community of atomic boffins is suitably chuffed about this unique achievement.

M Chudakov, now with the IAEA and well-known Russian fast breeder expert, calls “these reactors a bridge to the future as they can supply an almost unlimited supply of electricity”.

All eyes are now on southern India where another global nuclear milestone is likely to be crossed this year.

Arun Kumar Bhaduri, Director of the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR), Kalpakkam says, “fast breeder reactors are far safer than the current generation of nuclear plants and that all efforts are being made to kickstart within this year India’s first commercial fast breeder reactor at Kalpakkam.”

Such is the interest in fast breeder reactors that more than 700 of the best atomic scientists from over 30 countries gathered at Yekateringburg in IAEA’s conference on the ‘next generation nuclear systems for sustainable development’. The scientists deliberated on how to make nuclear energy last for several centuries.

Given India’s expertise, the co-chair of the conference was Suresh Chetal, one of the early pioneers of fast breeder reactors who helped tame fast breeder reactors for New Delhi when he was at the IGCAR.

Many countries have dabbled with fast breeder reactors and have given up, first off the block was the US but it gave up since inherently American governments have an allergic response with re-processing of nuclear waste in addition since USA has enough supplies of fissile material there is no hunger to maximally extract energy from uranium.

Japan and France both had robust programs with fast breeder technology but repeated failure to safely handle liquid sodium forced them to more or less give up on fast reactors.

China is more than a decade behind India in trying to master this complex beast.

Russia invested heavily in developing the fast breeder technology but since it commissioned its first fast breeder reactor BN 600 in 1980 it suffered an economic meltdown as the former Soviet Union broke up and only recently Russia could gather enough resources to complete its upgraded fast breeder reactor BN 800.

Today the BN 800 is a flagship reactor that uses both uranium and plutonium as fuel and generates electricity that is supplied to the grid. A visit to the facility reveals a squeaky clean reactor where seasoned operators like Ivan Sidrow are also experimenters as they go about trying to design a bigger 1200 MW fast breeder reactor.

India’s own PFBR is unique and rather different from the Russian fast breeder reactor though both use the same basic principle of physics.

Fast breeder reactors are called such not because they run faster but because the neutrons that sustain the atomic chain reaction travel at a much higher velocity than neutrons that help run the traditional atomic plants.

These are called breeders as they generate more fuel than they consume a fact hard to fathom since they seem to defy the laws of conservation of energy.

But a very unique quirk of elemental uranium makes this possible.

Nuclear reactors use a flavour of uranium called U-235 which unfortunately constitutes a minuscule quantity even in super purified uranium.

The larger component is what is called U-238 this flavour is the bulk but is essentially a waste product as the atomic reaction cannot be sustained by this elemental flavour.

In a fast breeder reactor the very special fast neutrons interact with the so called wasted uranium U-238 and converts it into a valuable resource. This is why fast breeders are akin to an ‘akshaya patra’.

India’s fast breeder reactor is even more unique as within it the country also deploys special rods of thorium which when they get exposed to or irradiated by fast neutrons they generate U-233 and a normally benign thorium turns into a valuable atomic material.

It is well known that India is very energy hungry and as economic growth takes place mega quantities of electricity will be required.

Unfortunately, nature has not been bountiful on India as the Indian land mass is not endowed with enough uranium but on the other hand the country has the world’s second largest store of thorium.

Today the country in a well thought out strategy is mastering fast breeder reactors that can be an effective via media for utilising the vast thorium reserves.

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Our Haryanvi Chori is Miss World 2017 !!! India’s Manushi Chillar crowned Miss World 2017

Manushi Chillar, born to doctor parents from Haryana, studied at St. Thomas School in Delhi and Bhagat Phool Singh Government Medical College for Women in Sonepat.

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Manushi Chiller

Sanya (China), Nov 18 : India’s Manushi Chillar on Saturday won the coveted Miss World 2017 title at a glittering event here, ending 16 years of drought for India at the international pageant.

Priyanka Chopra was the last winner from India in 2000.

Chillar, 21, looked emotional as the crown was placed on her head by Miss World 2016 winner Puerto Rico’s Stephanie Del Valle.

She competed against 108 contestants from various countries at the pageant.

Miss Mexico Andrea Meza was announced the first runner up, while Miss England Stephanie Hill was declared the second runner up at an event held at Sanya City Area.

Manushi Chillar, born to doctor parents from Haryana, studied at St. Thomas School in Delhi and Bhagat Phool Singh Government Medical College for Women in Sonepat.

In an interview during her grooming, she said: “The only thing I believe is certain in life is uncertainty, and this is what is amazing about the pageant.”

She had also said that she is confident of winning the crown.

Apart from the title, Chillar also won the Beauty with Purpose award.

Chillar had earlier this year won the Femina Miss India 2017.

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Modi’s India: Cash cows and rising nationalism

It was a glimpse of how energy can work on the bottom in India, the place such teams have risen to prominence since Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi grew to become prime minister in 2014.

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gaushala

Krishna N Das was wrapping up an interview with the pinnacle of a gaggle of gau rakshaks – Hindu “cow protector” vigilantes in India – when the person gave him a parting piece of recommendation: “Let me know if anybody troubles you right here, together with the police. Nobody dares to the touch our individuals right here.”

It was a glimpse of how energy can work on the bottom in India, the place such teams have risen to prominence since Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi grew to become prime minister in 2014.

A Reuters particular report this month investigated the vigilantes, who snatch cows from Muslims whom they’re satisfied intend to slaughter the animals. It’s an accusation that inflames passions in a Hindu majority nation, the place many contemplate the animal sacred and killing cows is outlawed in most states.

The reporting course of revealed some contemporary particulars a couple of rising tide of spiritual nationalism in India, past the nation’s booming inventory market and rising direct international funding. Interviews with simply two of the Hindu-led teams discovered they’d seized some 190,000 cows, at occasions working with police, since Modi took workplace.

As reporter Zeba Siddiqui interviewed a neighborhood head of a right-wing Hindu group, the person paused and requested: “You’re Muslim, proper?” Siddiqui mentioned she was. The person started to rant: “It’s of their spiritual books that it is best to kill non-believers, and that it is best to kill and eat animals. What sort of holy ebook says that? The Gita (a Hindu holy scripture) doesn’t. I don’t have an issue with the faith, however the individuals who comply with it.”

Siddiqui requested whether or not the person was saying he disliked all Muslims. He didn’t reply the query.

The Particular Report is a part of our persevering with protection of a rising class of nationalist energy brokers in India, the place newly assertive traditionalist teams, suspicious of international affect and notably outspoken towards giant multinationals equivalent to Monsanto, have Modi’s ear and maintain sway within the authorities. Within the face of accelerating populism and non secular divide, Reuters has made it a selected level to uphold its dedication to unbiased and dependable information below the Belief Ideas.

The story’s central narrative traced the life and dying of Pehlu Khan, a Muslim dairy farmer who was killed in April whereas travelling house from a cattle honest along with his two sons. An indignant crowd stopped them after seeing cows at the back of their truck and beat the Khan household in the course of the highway.

In the middle of reporting that incident, Reuters journalists traced the distribution community of Pehlu Khan’s milk. They discovered a dealer who purchased milk from the dairy operation that Khan handled in his village. They then visited the regional milk firm that purchased from the dealer.

The person accountable for the regional firm defined to a pair of Reuters reporters that “the homicide of Pehlu Khan was right.” It’s essential for India, he mentioned, to “management the Muslim inhabitants.”

Modi’s India: Money cows and rising nationalism

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Cong attacks BJP over allegations against NSA Ajit Doval’s son

NSA’s son and BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav, the India foundation lists among its directors Nirmala Sitharaman and Suresh Prabhu, and two ministers of state Jayant Sinha and M J Akbar.

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kapil Sibal

The Congress today hit out at the BJP citing a news report which alleged a “prospect of conflict of interest” in National Security Adviser Ajit Doval’s son Shaurya running the ‘India Foundation’ think tank that has four Union ministers on its board, a charge rejected by the organisation as baseless.

“Shah-zada ki apaar safalta ke baad, BJP ki nayi peshkash — Ajit Shaurya gatha (After the ‘grand success’ of ‘Shah- Zada’, BJP’s new presentation — the tale of Ajit Shaurya),” Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi tweeted in Hindi.

The report in ‘the Wire’, a news portal, alleged that Doval’s son has a “prospect of conflict of interest” in running the think-tank, India Foundation.

“The India Foundation’s opaque financials, the presence of senior ministers as directors and the fact that executive director Shaurya Doval’s day job is running Gemini Financial Services — a firm that specialises in ‘transactions and capital flows between the OECD and the emerging Asian economies’ — also raise the prospect of conflict of interest and lobbying,” the report alleged.

In a statement, India Foundation said the article is without basis, and that the directors concerned have been associated with the organisation long before they became ministers or even Members of Parliament.

“The article in question is speculative and clearly intends to insinuate wrong doing where there is none. It strikes a maleficent tone without any basis other than surmise. The India foundation deplores the surmises and innuendos used to attack its legacy, reputation and credibility,” the statement said.

The organisation also denied receiving any foreign funding from any overseas private corporation or individual and said the foundation and its directors have not furthered the commercial or private interests of any company, domestic or foreign.

“The agenda of its meetings are concerned with culture, geo-politics, and macro-economics such as the investment climate in India and development of the North East,” it said, adding the organisation is in complete compliance with all statutory requirements and its activities which are public and transparent, faithfully adhere to its charter.

Run by the NSA’s son and BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav, the India foundation lists among its directors defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu, and two ministers of state — Jayant Sinha (civil aviation) and M J Akbar (external affairs).

Addressing a press conference, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should fire the four Union ministers who are directors in the organisation and demanded a CBI inquiry into the matter.

“Prime Minister Modi should fire all the four ministers who are on the board of the India Foundation. We want to ask Modiji when he will fire them…It is not only a direct conflict of interest but also they must be taking benefits because their position as directors so this may well be an office of profit,” Sibal said.

He also noted that Congress President Sonia Gandhi had resigned as chairman of the National Advisory Council and again contested elections after allegations of office of profit.

Sibal also alleged that there cannot be more serious case of “crony capitalism, violation of rules and corruption then this one”.

“And this is happening at the time when our Prime Minister Modi says ‘Na Khaunga, Na Khaane dunga’ (I will not engage in corruption, nor will I allow others),” Sibal added.

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