» R & D » Nuclear Fuels: Design & Fabrication

Core R & D Areas

Manufacture of a variety of fuels 
Fabrication of fuel pin bird cages for MOX fuel pins as per IAEA transportation safety standards.
R&D on candidate metallic fuels for future Fast Breeder Reactors (FBRs) due to their high breeding potential such as:(a) Mechanically bonded pin with U-15%Pu alloy fuel with Zr lined T91 cladding and (b) Sodium bonded pin with U-15%Pu-6%Zr alloy fuel with T 91 cladding
Development of a comprehensive characterisation programme consisting of thermo-physical property evaluation, microstructural studies and fuel-clad compatibility tests of U-15%Pu, U-6%Zr and U-10%Zr alloys
Development of powder of uraniummolybdenum alloy for its use in the manufacture of research reactor fuels for high burn up
Centrifugal casting of uranium shapes: In order to maximize the yield of uranium castings for special applications
Special Nuclear Materials Transportation 
Development and adoption of Linear phased array technique for inspection of rolled joints and BWR pressure vessel and piping 
Post Irradiation Examination (PIE) on experimental thoria-based mixed oxide fuels irradiated in pressurised water loop to assess the performance of the fuels as well as of experimental AHWR fuels
Support to NPCIL for carrying out sliver sample analysis and investigations on causes of failures of some of the reactor components
Development and fabrication of superconducting Cable-In-Conduit-Conductor (CICC) for the nuclear fusion programme
Development of Electron Beam Welding (EBW) process for manufacture of Test Blanket Modules (TBMs) for the ITER programme
Development and deployment of automation in fabrication and inspection work
Development of metallic blanket for fast reactor 
Fabrication of Control blades for TAPS 1 & 2.

Fuel is at the heart of a nuclear reactor and no indigenous nuclear power program can sustain without regular and assured supply of fuel to the reactors. BARC has mastered the fuel design and fabrication technology containing uranium, plutonium, thorium and uranium 233. Thorex process is still in the developmental stage. It has a major role in the third stage of the Indian Nuclear Power Program. R&D activities are in progress to meet the challenges of this fuel cycle.

A variety of fuels such as Uranium fuel clusters for Dhruva, mixed carbide fuel
elements for the Fast Breeder Test Reactor, mixed oxide fuel for the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor, Fuel for ADSS program, Development of Low Enriched uranium fuel for modified core of APSARA reactor, Dispersion fuels and experimental fuel clusters for irradiation in research reactors are being fabricated at BARC.

Development of flow sheets for manufacture of fuel for AHWR as well as for CHTR is in progress. Similar work is being carried out inthe development and fabrication of metallic fuels and CERMET fuel for fast reactors.

R&D activities are being carried out in the characterisation, performance assessment, burn-up and fabrication parameters of reactor fuels.  Mechanisation and modifications of workstations, equipment and processes have been adopted to enhance productivity and to ensure safety.

Click the image for bigger view

Thorium Oxide pellets for Critical Facility

Click the image for bigger view
Plate fuel development & fabrication laboratory

Plate fuel development & fabrication laboratory
for modified APSARA core

Click the image for bigger view

FBTR fuel fabrication facility

Click the image for bigger view

On-line CICC fabrication facility where fabrication of 100m long 30kA Nb-Ti based hybrid CICC is in progress