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Thorium fuel cycle in India: Critical Facility

A critical facility has been constructed at BARC for conducting lattice physics experiments for validation of physics calculations pertaining to AHWR. The facility has been designed to facilitate study of different core lattices based on various fuel types, moderator materials and reactivity control devices. Critical facility has three core configurations - Reference core, AHWR Representative Initial core and AHWR Representative Equilibrium core. 

Objective:  Validation of Physics Simulation models and nuclear data


  • Thermal Neutron Flux (Ave) : 108 n/cm2/sec
  • Nominal Fission power : 100 Watts
  • Core : 330 cm ID X 500 cm Ht.
  • Variable lattice pitch : 20 cm to 30 cm
  • Types of cores : Reference core, AHWR Core and PHWR Core
AHWR fuel pin arrangement

General arrangement of Critical Facility

AHWR fuel pin arrangement

AHWR representative core configuration

Reactor physics experiments with six AHWR type (Th-Pu) MOX fuel pin cluster and Thoria assemblies have been carried out.