Tuticorin Heavy Water Plant

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Last Updated: November 21, 2011
Location: Mumbai, India
Subordinate To: Department of Atomic Energy (DAE)
Size: Up to 71.3Mt of heavy water per year
Facility Status:

The Tuticorin Heavy Water Plant is located in the state of Tamil Nadu and is owned and operated by the DAE's Heavy Water Board (HWB). The facility uses the monothermal ammonia-hydrogen exchange process to produce up to 71.3Mt of heavy water per year. Construction of the site began in 1971 after a supply contract was signed with the French-Swiss consortium M-S Gelpra. Although the plant began operations in July 1978, it has operated well below capacity, has endured numerous basic equipment failures, and has experienced huge cost overruns. During fiscal year 1996-97, the plant continued to have problems with frequent shutdowns that were due to power failures, equipment and machinery failures, and shutdowns at the adjacent Southern Petrochemical Industries Corporation's (SPIC) ammonia plant. Shutdowns at SPIC were particularly significant because it is this entity that supplies the Tuticorin Heavy Water Plant with its ammonia feedstock.

[1] Andrew Koch, "Selected Indian Nuclear Facilities," Center for Nonproliferation Studies, 1999, www.nonproliferation.org.
[2] "Heavy Water Plant, Tuticorin," Heavy Water Board (DAE Government of India), www.heavywaterboard.org.

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