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The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) is reportedly developing a mobile reactor technology with wide-ranging applications. While details remain undisclosed by BARC, experts believe it could be a dual-use system, potentially impacting both civilian and military sectors.

The concept of a mobile reactor presents exciting possibilities. It could provide a reliable and continuous power source for remote locations currently lacking access to traditional infrastructure. This could be particularly beneficial for regions with challenging terrain or underdeveloped grids.

However, the potential military applications also raise questions. BARC’s experience in developing nuclear reactors for both power generation and submarine propulsion suggests this mobile technology could be used for high-powered Electronic Warfare (EW) weapon systems.

India’s interest in mobile reactors comes amidst discussions with France and Russia regarding Small Modular Reactor (SMR) technology. SMRs offer several advantages over traditional large-scale reactors. Their modular design allows for factory fabrication, reducing construction time and costs. Additionally, with a smaller footprint, SMRs are considered more flexible in deployment.

The potential benefits of SMRs extend beyond just mobility. They are seen as a promising solution for industrial decarbonization, providing a reliable and clean energy source for various applications. Furthermore, proponents believe SMRs offer a simpler and inherently safer design compared to conventional nuclear power plants.

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