Kalpakkam Atomic Reprocessing Plant

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Last Updated: September 1, 2003
Other Name: KARP
Location: Kalpakkam, Tamil Nadu
Subordinate To: Department of Atomic Energy (DAE)
Size: 1 plant with production capacity of 100-125 tons per year
Facility Status: Operational

The Kalpakkam Atomic Reprocessing Plant (KARP) is one of three major fuel reprocessing facilities in India. This indigenously built plant began cold commissioning (operating without spent fuel) in March 1996 and later initiated spent fuel reprocessing by the end of the year. KARP currently reprocesses spent fuel from two pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWRs) at the Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS) in Kalpakkam and the Fast Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR). While the reprocessing plant utilizes the plutonium-uranium extraction (PUREX) process, it also employs laboratory-scale facilities to process plutonium-uranium carbide fuel from the FBTR. During the late 1990s, KARP was earmarked to meet plutonium requirements for the new Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) being developed at IGCAR.

It is unclear whether KARP provides plutonium for India's nuclear weapons program. The facility is not under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards.

Sources:
[1] Columbia International Affairs Online, www.ciaonet.org, DAE (Government of India), "Annual Report 1998-1999."
[2] DAE (Government of India), "Annual Report 1999-2000."
[3] DAE (Government of India), "Annual Report 2001-2002."
[4] Frans Berkhout and Surendra Gadekar, "Reprocessing in India," www.ieer.org, October 1997.
[5] "India-Plutonium Investigation n°10: The Industry," Wise-Paris, www.wise-paris.org.
[6] John Pike, "Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research [IGCAR], Kalpakkam Atomic Reprocessing Plant [KARP]," Globalsecurity.org, 12 August 2002.

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This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents. Copyright 2017.