|Last Updated:||September 1, 2003|
|Subordinate To:||Department of Atomic Energy (DAE)|
The Special Materials Plant is part of the Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC) in Hyderabad that was established in 1971 for the manufacturing of fuel assemblies for pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWR) and boiling water reactors (BWR). While other NFC entities produce uranium oxide pellets and zircaloy fuel tubes, the Special Materials Plant produces tantalum pentoxide powder for India's nuclear and private industries. During 2000-2001, the Special Materials Plant increased its tantalum pentoxide powder production capacity from 200kg to 500kg per month. This was reportedly due to high demand for the material from the cutting tool industry that brought in approximately $745,000 in revenue during FY 2000-2001. In addition to tantalum pentoxide powder, the Special Materials Plant also specializes in the production of semi conductor grade gallium; this technology was transferred to the National Aluminum Company in 1998-1999. As of 1999-2000, the plant was also making progress in developing nuclear grade niobium metal.
According to the DAE's Annual Report 2001-2002, the Special Materials Plant exceeded its target sales levels. This included the sale of tantalum pentoxide, high purity materials, and tantalum metal shapes.
 DAE (Government of India), "Annual Report 1998-1999," p. 58;
 DAE (Government of India), "Annual Report 1999-2000," p. 4.4, Executive Summary available at www.vigyan.org.in;
 DAE (Government of India), "Annual Report 2000-2001," Executive Summary available at www.dae.gov.in;
 DAE (Government of India,) "Annual Report 2001-2002," Executive Summary available at www.dae.gov.in;
 Dr. Chaitanyamoy Ganguly, "Manufacturing of Fuels for Water-Cooled Nuclear Power Reactors at NFC," Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), 2001, www.npcil.org;
 "NFC to expand facilities," Business Line (Chennai) Online Edition, 26 June 2001, www.blonnet.com;
 DAE (Government of India), "Nuclear Fuel Fabrication," www.dae.gov.in;
 Embassy of India Cairo, www.india-emb.org.eg.