Center for Advanced Technology

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Last Updated: September 1, 2003
Other Name: CAT
Location: Indore, Madhya Pradesh
Subordinate To: Department of Atomic Energy
Size: 760 hectare campus
Facility Status: Operational

Construction of the Center for Advanced Technology (CAT) began in 1984. Research at the Center began in 1986 following the arrival of personnel and equipment form the Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC). The DAE established CAT to continue work done by scientists from BARC on lasers and accelerators. CAT's research is primarily focused on the development of lasers, accelerators, and their applications. The area of research that is of the greatest proliferation concern is CAT's inertial confinement fusion activities, which can be used to help design and build thermonuclear weapons. Although it is unlikely that India will successfully build a useful laser-enrichment facility anytime soon, CAT has also developed lasers that could be used to enrich uranium. Furthermore, high-powered lasers could be used to fabricate nuclear fuel and to recover tritium from irradiated heavy water. Laser technology could also be used in the thorium fuel cycle.

Because of CAT's activities and its association with the DAE, the Center was the target of US sanctions by the Departments of Energy and Commerce. In fiscal year 1997, CAT received $8 million in DAE support.

Activities

  • The center conducts research on cryogenics, accelerators, high-vacuum technology, copper vapor and nitrogen lasers.
  • The center has a unit working on laser-plasma technology for inertial confinement fusion using a 100J 1nS Nd: glass laser and has reportedly developed thermonuclear triggering devices using lasers.
  • The laser department has also developed carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and copper vapor (10-40W) lasers that can be used to enrich uranium. These lasers could potentially be used in cleansing U-232 from U-233 fuel.
  • CAT has completed the INDUS-1 Synchrotron Radiation Source (SRS). INDUS-1 is a 450 MeV synchrotron radiation source with a critical wavelength of 61 angstroms.
  • In 1997, CAT began construction on a building that will house the INDUS-2 Synchrotron Radiation Source (SRS). INDUS-2 will be a synchrotron radiation source of nominal electron energy of 2 GeV and a critical wavelength of about 4 angstroms.

Sources:
[1] Andrew Koch, "Selected Indian Nuclear Facilities," Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS), 1999, www.nonproliferation.org.
[2] Center for Advanced Technology (CAT), www.cat.gov.in.

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