India has tech for n-warship

Kalpakkam, Aug. 3: India can build its own nuclear powered aircraft carrier and warships, said the country’s top nuclear scientist.
“Yes, we have the capability and technical expertise to build nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and war ships of global standards. When the government asks us to build such ships, we will do it,” Dr Anil Kakodkar, chairman, Atomic Energy Commission, said on Sunday.
He was addressing reporters at the Propulsion Reactor Project (PRP) site at the Indira Gandhi Centre For Atomic Research (IGCAR), where INS Arihant, the country’s first indigenous nuclear-powered submarine took shape.
Disclosing that India has mastered the technology to build Light Water Reactors (LWR), Dr Kakodkar said, “INS Arihant is powered by a Light Water Reactor built by the scientists of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). We have the capability to build big Light Water Reactors to meet the energy requirements of the country.”
The AEC chairman said that the kind of reactor built for the nuclear submarine could be used to electrify villages and remote areas not covered by the national grid. “We are not ruling out the possibilities of using such reactors for rural electrification. Though the cost of power production may be a bit expensive, we can always explore the possibilities for using this compact reactors for bringing light to the villages.”
Dr Kakodkar said the commissioning of the first reactor at Koodankulam had been delayed. “It will be ready for fuelling early next year. The 500 MW fast breeder reactor will be ready for commission by 2011.” Dr S Banerjee, director, Barc, said the LWR was more flexible than other reactors. “It can work 30 times faster than the conventional reactors. This will help the Navy personnel to manoeuvre the vessel to speeds of their requirement,” he said.
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