Keywords: accelerator-driven systems, fuel reprocessing, nuclear technology, nuclear fuel, nuclear fusion, nuclear waste management, plutonium, thorium, uranium, nuclear energy, nuclear power, fast breeder reactors
Nuclear technology and its challenges in India
India has a strong technology base for its comprehensive nuclear energy programme. A glimpse of this capability is given in this paper, starting with uranium exploration and mining to fuel reprocessing and nuclear waste management. India has chosen a closed fuel cycle option, and the plutonium recovered from spent fuel will soon be manufactured into fuel elements for its 500 MWe Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor, which is under construction. A modest programme to develop systems for thorium utilisation is being pursued. The nuclear energy development programme includes accelerator-based nuclear reactor systems. India is also a party to the 500 MW nuclear fusion machine ITER, which is under construction at Cadarache, France, under an international cooperation framework.