Apsara Research Reactor

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Last Updated: September 1, 2003
Other Name: N/A
Location: Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) Trombay, Mumbai, India
Subordinate To: Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India
Size: Unknown
Facility Status: Unknown

Apsara is the oldest of India's research reactors. The reactor was designed by the Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC) and built with assistance from the United Kingdom (which also provided the initial fuel supply consisting of 80 percent enriched uranium). Apsara first went critical on 4 August 1956. Apsara is a light water swimming pool-type reactor with a maximum power output of one megawatt thermal (MWt). The reactor burns enriched uranium in the form of aluminum alloyed curved plates. Fuel for the reactor is supplied under contract from the United Kingdom, provided that the fuel is safeguarded. The reactor itself is not under International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards. The Apsara reactor is utilized for various experiments including neutron activation analysis, radiation damage studies, forensic research, neutron radiography, and shielding experiments. The reactor is also used for research and the production of radioisotopes. After nearly half a century of operation, BARC plans to refurbish and modify the aging reactor to test a new indigenous design of a 5-10MWt research reactor.

[1] Andrew Koch, "Selected Indian Nuclear Facilities," Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS), 1999, www.nonproliferation.org.
[2] Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC), www.barc.ernet.in.
[3] DAE (Government of India), "Annual Report 2000-2001," Executive Summary available at www.dae.gov.in.
[4] "New reactor being planned in Trombay," The Hindu (Chennai), 28 April 1999, www.hinduonline.com.
[5] "Research Reactors," Nuclear Review, April 1996, p. 17.
[6] "Apsara to be decommissioned," Nuclear Engineering International, Vol. 31, No. 387, October 1986, pp. 11-12.
[7] 2000 World Nuclear Industry Handbook (Wilmington, UK: Nuclear Engineering International, 2000), p. 198.

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