The Nuclear Recycle Group is mandated to manage spent fuel from nuclear reactors. Global perception generally treats spent nuclear fuel as a waste. However, India considers spent fuel a valuable resource, which has led to the adoption of a closed fuel cycle entailing reprocessing of spent fuel and recycling of the nuclear materials. Reprocessing will bridge our transition from relatively scarce Uranium to abundant Thorium reserves for our nuclear power programme ensuring the long term energy security of the nation. The reprocessing operations generate various secondary streams, some of which contains useful products for societal applications, while many are termed wastes.
In support of this, the operating plants at Trombay have a mandate to reprocess spent fuel from research reactors and perform allied waste management activities. The R&D divisions attached to NRG have a broader mandate of providing all necessary technical support to the various other existing back end facilities of Nuclear Recycle Board. The R&D support takes the form of improved processes, cross cut technologies, enhanced throughputs, trouble shooting during operations, waste volume reduction and efforts to minimise environmental discharges following concept of “Near Zero Discharge of radioactivity”.
NRG also has the mandate for development of advanced separation techniques and technologies including remote handling gadgets to achieve selective separation of radionuclides from nuclear waste and subsequently utilize these for various medical and industrial purposes. NRG is engaged in the production and regular supply of Cs-137 pencils for blood irradiators, Ru-106 plaques for eye cancer treatment and Y-90 for radiopharmaceutical applications through BRIT, realising concept of “Wealth from Waste”. NRG is also involved in a number of development activities such as Nuclear Battery, Radiation Heating Unit etc. in collaboration with other Groups of BARC.
After successful recovery of Cs from High Level liquid waste and converting in to Cs glass pencils, 30 Cs glass pencils were transported to BRIT for blood irradiator.