Renewable Energy To be India’s New Priority!
July 13, 2017
India is planning to test a new nuclear technology in a bid to develop it’s renewable energy sources.
WHAT IS THE NEW TECHNOLOGY?
For 15 years now, India’s nuclear scientists have been working on a gigantic nuclear facility in Kalpakkam, a city on the shores of the Bay of Bengal near Chennai. Unlike most facilities, this one is a fast breeder nuclear reactor, a technology India has been working to perfect for 27 years now, beginning with an experimental facility called a Fast-Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR).
FAST BREEDER REACTORS
Fast breeder reactors are different from conventional nuclear plants because the neutrons that sustain the atomic chain reaction travel at higher velocities. Fast reactors can help extract up to 70 percent more energy than traditional reactors and are safer than traditional reactors while reducing long-lived radioactive waste by several folds. This type of reactor is capable of generating more fuel that it consumes, a behavior typically made possible by elemental uranium. Uranium isn’t common in India, but the country has the second largest store of thorium, so the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) in Kalpakkam uses rods of that element.
WHAT IS THE INTENTION?
India is the world’s second largest contributor to climate-warming gasses, behind only China. While the latter seems to be leading the world in harnessing solar and wind energy, India is determined to make nuclear energy work in their favour. The country recently announced plans to shut down more than 30 of its coal mines and is steadily veering away from coal-fired plants.