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Marking a historic milestone in India’s nuclear power programme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will witness the initiation of core loading of India’s 500 MW indigenous Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) being built by BHAVINI (Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Limited) at Kalpakkam, about 70 km from here, on Monday. Mr Modi will arrive around 1445 hrs in Chennai and will leave for Kalpakkam where he will visit the PFBR facility from 1530 hrs to 1615 hrs.

He will return to Chennai and address a public meeting of BJP at YMCA Nandanam grounds before leaving for Telangana in the evening. On Mr Modi’s Kalpakkam visit, an official release said on Sunday evening said the reactor core consists of control sub-assemblies, blanket sub-assemblies and fuel sub-assemblies.

The core loading activity consists of loading of reactor control sub-assemblies, followed by the blanket sub-assemblies and the Fuel sub-assemblies which will generate power. India has adopted a three-stage nuclear power program with a closed fuel cycle. In the PFBR, marking the second stage of the nuclear program, spent fuel from the first stage is reprocessed and used as fuel in FBR.

An unique feature of this sodium cooled PFBR is that it can produce more fuel than it consumes, thus helping in achieving self-reliance in fuel supply for future fast reactors. With minimised nuclear waste generated from the reactor and advanced safety features, FBRs will provide safe, efficient and clean source of energy and contribute to the goal of net zero.

This is an important step for India towards thorium utilisation in the third stage of the nuclear power programme. Once commissioned, India will be the second country after Russia to have commercial operating Fast Reactor, the release said