BARC re-commissions an upgraded version of nuclear reactor ‘Apsara-U’
The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) has recently re-commissioned an upgraded version of nuclear research reactor ‘Apsara-U’ with a higher capacity, which was shut down permanently in 2009 for revamp. The indigenously made reactor ‘Apsara-U’ uses plate type dispersion fuel elements made of Low Enriched Uranium (LEU). By virtue of higher neutron flux, this reactor will increase indigenous production or radio-isotopes for medical application by about 50% and would also be extensively used for research in nuclear physics, material science and radiation shielding. This development has re-emphasized the capability of Indian scientists and Engineers to build, complex facilities for health care, science education and research. Apsara was the Asia’s first research reactor that was made operational in Trombay campus of BARC on 4th August 1956. The design of the pool-type reactor using enriched uranium fuel was conceptualised in 1955 by Dr Homi Bhabha himself. The name ‘Apsara’ was coined by then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.