Last Updated: November 21, 2011
Other Name: Zero Energy Reactor for Lattice Investigations and New Assemblies
Location: Mumbai, India
Subordinate To: Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India
Facility Status:

India's third research reactor, Zerlina, reached criticality on January 14, 1961. This zero-energy experimental reactor was indigenously built but used U.S.-supplied heavy water as a moderator and coolant. Zerlina was used for studies of the spatial arrangement of fissionable and nonfissionable materials in uranium heavy water reactors. The tank-type reactor was the first of a series of critical assemblies built by BARC. The unsafeguarded reactor burned natural uranium fuel rods to produce a nominal power output of 100 watts. The reactor was decommissioned and dismantled in 1983. BARC scientists applied lessons learned from Zerlina in the design, construction, and operation of future reactors.

[1] Andrew Koch, "Selected Indian Nuclear Facilities," Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS), 1999,
[2] Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC); 2000 World Nuclear Industry Handbook (Wilmington, UK: Nuclear Engineering International, 2000), p. 198.

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