India has been giving the message of peace and love to the world from the very beginning. Along with the sages and sages of the country, here too, they have always been using their knowledge and science for the welfare of human beings. When the developed nations of the world were competing to make nuclear weapons to prove themselves powerful, even then the scientists of our country were thinking of doing work for human welfare like the generation of electricity by nuclear fission.
Dr. Homi Jahangir Bhabha, the great scientist who is called the father of nuclear energy in India, had said before the US dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan during the Second World War- “Suppose that one or two decades from now. When nuclear energy starts being successfully used in electricity generation in India, then India will not need to look abroad for nuclear experts, but they will be ready here.”
Development of nuclear power
Nuclear energy is produced by nuclear fission, hence it is also called nuclear energy. Nuclear fission is a chemical reaction in which a heavy nucleus breaks into two parts. A nuclear fission reaction is a chain reaction. There are two types of chain reaction – uncontrolled chain reaction and controlled chain reaction. While uncontrolled chain reaction is used to make atomic bombs, nuclear energy is produced in nuclear reactors by controlled chain reaction. Uranium 235 or plutonium 239 is used as fuel in a nuclear reactor.
The nuclear fission reaction was first demonstrated by American scientists Straussmann and Auto Hahn. By bombarding the uranium atom with neutrons, splitting its nucleus into two fragments, it emitted a large amount of energy through a chain reaction. Today all the developed and developing countries of the world are taking interest in the construction of nuclear reactors for electricity generation. Despite the nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan in the year 2011, nuclear power is being considered as an important option of energy supply around the world. Today there are more than four and a half hundred active nuclear reactors in 30 countries of the world.
Nuclear power program in india
With the establishment of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) in India under the chairmanship of Dr. Bhabha in the year 1948, the atomic energy program started. This commission established the Department of Atomic Energy in the year 1954 for the implementation of its nuclear energy policies. Many research institutes are functioning under this department. Then our first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had said in relation to the nuclear program – “Indian nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes.” Today our country is producing nuclear energy by nuclear fission following this ideal.
The Atomic Energy Commission planned to expand its nuclear program in three phases, with the goal of first being the establishment of a heavy water counter measurement reactor powered by natural uranium fuel. This was followed by the establishment of plutonium fuel-powered fast breeder reactors and reactors to further the process of reprocessing uranium and plutonium produced from nuclear fast reactors, respectively.
The first nuclear research reactor was built in the year 1956 near Mumbai under the name Apsara. Except for the fuel parts (imported from Britain), this boiling water reactor was built here by his own countrymen. In the same year, with the help of Canada, it was announced to set up a second reactor named CIRUS in Maharashtra itself.
Status of nuclear plants in india
At present, there are 21 nuclear reactors in operation in the country (4 in Maharashtra), with a total installed capacity of about 6 thousand MW. These reactors, installed in six provinces of India (Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat), include 2 Boiling Water Reactors and 18 Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors and one Pressurized Light Water Reactor. Along with this, many other reactors are also under construction. Diamond Jubilee Celebrations were celebrated on 3 August 2014 to mark the completion of 60 years of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Government of India. Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that “we are hopeful that we will achieve the target of tripling the current capacity level of 5,780 MW by 2023-24”. Undoubtedly, like other branches of knowledge-science, India is also setting new records in the field of nuclear energy.
Unit-5 of Rajasthan Atomic Power Plant, operational from 2nd August, 2012, has become the second-largest reactor in the world with the longest-running fund for more than two years. This unit is a byproduct of indigenously developed PHWR technology. On this achievement, Ratan Kumar, Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy said, “This is not just an emotional moment, but a proud moment. There are only 10 such reactors in the world, which have operated continuously for more than 500 days in an uninterrupted manner.” 02
Along with this, the country’s 21st nuclear reactor at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu (the country’s first pressurized plant under the light water reactor category) commissioned 1,000 MW of electricity generation from June 2014, is a major achievement of the Indian nuclear program. This plant established with the technical cooperation of the Russian Federation
In this direction, during the 19th India-Russia bilateral summit in 2018, the two signed an action plan to prioritize and implement cooperation in the field of nuclear. Under this agreement, six reactors will be set up in Tamil Nadu parallel to the 6,000 MW Kudankulam project. In such a situation, due to the development of nuclear reactors and their capabilities in the country, the dependence on thermal power on a large scale can be avoided.
It is noteworthy that in the year 1957, the Atomic Energy Establishment of Loombe (AEET) was established in Mumbai. At present, this research center, popularly known as ‘Bhabha Atomic Research Center’, is continuously in the forefront of nuclear energy development of the country. India not only manufactures nuclear energy itself, but it has also been taking cooperation from other countries from time to time for the development of nuclear energy. In the year 1988, with the help of America, the commercial operation of India’s first power plant ‘Tarapur Power Plant’ started.
Nuclear test in india
On May 18, 1974, India tested the first plutonic atomic bomb, with a capacity of 10-20 kilotons, at Pokhran. Due to this, other nuclear power countries including America stopped the supply of nuclear fuel, equipment and technology to India. Due to this, India’s nuclear program had to go through a period of crisis for some time.
Then the then Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi said on the 11th Foundation Day of the Organization of Africa Unity, “Do the countries that frown upon the nuclear test conducted by India for peaceful purposes, do they believe that developed countries have the right to make atomic bombs for destruction? And developing countries like India cannot develop nuclear power to solve the poverty and other problems of their subjects. We still stand by our old saying that nuclear power will not be used by our country for destruction, but only in the fields of agricultural development.
Electricity generation and medicine.
As soon as the crisis passed, in the year 1961, India’s second nuclear power plant ‘Rajasthan Atomic Power Plant’ started functioning at Rawatbhata near Kota in Rajasthan. After this, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board was established in the year 1983. On 23 July this year, India’s third nuclear power plant was established at Kalpakkam near Madras (now Chennai). In the year 1987, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited was established for the expansion of nuclear programs.
In the late 20th century, India went through a period of political instability and economic crises. It also had an impact on the development of nuclear programs. At that time, India was facing problems like internal terrorism, separatism, communalism, political instability, while on the other hand, other nuclear power countries including America were on the non-proliferation treaty (NPT) and Comprehensive Nuclear Test Prohibition Treaty (CTBT) on India. were pressurizing to sign. India’s
Despite this, India conducted a series of five nuclear tests on 11 and 13 May 1998, 24 years after its first nuclear test, to save its reputation at the regional level and to be free from international pressures. There was widespread opposition to these tests conducted in India by countries like America, Australia, Canada and Japan etc. Despite this, in the year 2000, it implemented the third and fourth units of Rawatbhata Atomic Power Station. In addition, the unit of Kaiga was established in Karnataka in the year 2011. Unit 1 and Unit 2 of Kudankulam were implemented in the year 2014 and 2017 respectively.
India’s civil nuclear deal with other countries
India signed the ‘123’ Agreement on Indo-US Civil Nuclear Energy Cooperation in 2008 to further its nuclear development program 34 years after the first nuclear test in Pokhran. It is noteworthy that for this agreement, enabling legislation was passed in the US Congress under Section 123 (a) (2) of the US Atomic Energy Act. The purpose of this agreement is to cooperate in full civil nuclear energy cooperation between India and India, apart from military nuclear facilities.
The civil nuclear deal was signed between India and Australia on September 5, 2014, after the Bharatiya Janata Party government came to power at the Centre. India is the only country out of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which has the facility to trade in the field of nuclear energy with nuclear weapon countries. Moving towards an important step in this direction, India achieved another achievement. Moving forward in this direction, India became a full member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) on 26 June 2016. The voluntary MTCR aims to limit the expansion of ballistic missiles and other unmanned supply systems that can be used in chemical, biological and nuclear attacks. In November 2016, India became an associate member of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (SUN).
In fact, CERN is an abbreviation of the French word council european paur or recherche ‘nuclear’. CERN is the nickname for the European Organization for Nuclear Research. This will give India an opportunity to attend its (CERN) meetings. Indian scientists will get an opportunity to receive training in CERN’s scientists and resources. CERN to Indian young scientists and engineers