Category — Nuclear Energy

India Creates Medical Caesium-137 from Nuclear Waste

India’s scientists at the Bhabha Atomic Research Center in Trombay, near Mumbai in the western state of Maharashtra, recover caesium-137 from radioactive waste to protect babies and vulnerable patients from adverse reactions to blood transfusions.

A rare and usually fatal complication from blood transfusion is Transfusion-Associated Graft Versus Host Disease, which is a major risk for fetuses and very premature newborns, as well as patients with suppressed immune systems, says World Nuclear News.

Doctors normally irradiate donated blood either with x-rays or gamma rays sourced from cobalt-60. However, cobalt-60 has a short half-life of 5.3 years which means technicians have to regularly make, transport and install new sources. Though Caesium-137 offers a longer-lasting alternative with a half-life of 30.2 years, it is usually presented in powdered form as caesium-chloride that has the potential hazard of dispersal if not properly handled and managed.

Making Vitrified Caesium Pencils at BARC

Making Vitrified Caesium-137 Pencils at BARC

Researchers at the Bhabha Atomic Research Center created a solid form of caesium-137 (from the stream of reprocessed spent fuel from India’s nuclear power plants), with the benefits of long life, reduced handling and no risk of dispersal. The same product will replace cobalt-60 for applications such as food irradiation, brachytherapy and sterilization of medical equipment.

 

March 21, 2017   No Comments

Westinghouse Nuclear Project in India Still Alive

The bankruptcy filing at  Westinghouse Nuclear threatened to scuttle the multi-billion-dollar reactor deal made by former U.S. President Barack Obama and India’s Prime Minister Modi during the Washington summit last June, , Westinghouse CEO Jose Gutierrez was in India for talks with state-run National Power Corp of India Ltd and the Department of Atomic Energy that reports to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

India’s Larsen & Toubro, a potential partner that has signed a memorandum of understanding with Westinghouse to supply nuclear plant elements and do civil works, still views the India project as viable.”As long as the guarantees are in place, I see no reason why this won’t go ahead,” Shailendra Roy, head of L&T’s power business, told Reuters,.

Westinghouse Electric Company

The Export-Import Bank of the U.S. however, has lacked a quorum on its board of directors, preventing it from issuing loans over $10 million, and this may also slow down the financing of any deal.

 

March 21, 2017   No Comments

Europe’s Nuclear Research Center Adds India as Member

India will become an associate member of particle physics research organization CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research headquartered in Geneva, subject to final approval by the Indian government. An agreement by CERN’s director general Fabiola Gianotti and the chairman of India’s Atomic Energy Commission, Sekhar Basu was signed on November 21, 2016 reports World Nuclear News.

India becomes CERN Associate Member

Physicists from India’s Tata Institute of Fundamental Research actively participated in experiments at CERN since the 1960s. They were later joined by scientists from the Raja Ramanna Center for Advanced Technology, Indore, in the 1990s. These and other institutes built components for the LEP accelerator and the L3, WA93 and WA89 detectors. Their scientists participated in important physics analyses and publications throughout the years.

In 1996, India’s Atomic Energy Commission took part in the construction of the Large Hadron Collider and participated in many experiments and initiatives, including establishing LHC Computing Grid centers in Mumbai and Kolkata, after which India was granted Observer status to the CERN Council in 2002.

The Associate Membership will allow India to take part in meetings of the CERN Council and its committees (Finance Committee and Scientific Policy Committee). It will also make Indian scientists eligible for staff appointments.

Once the Agreement enters into force, Indian industry will be entitled to bid for CERN contracts, which will open up opportunities for industrial collaboration in areas of advanced technology.

 

 

December 18, 2016   No Comments

India and Japan Sign Civil Nuclear Energy Pact

On Friday, November 11, Prime Ministers Modi and Shinzo Abe signed an agreement whereby Japanese nuclear companies will be allowed to sell their technology to India.

The deal, though limited to peaceful commercial use, is controversial because India has not ratified the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It has raised concerns in Japan that India might use the technology to boost its nuclear weapons program. However, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had told Prime Minister Modi at a meeting in New Delhi way back in December 2015, “We will discontinue cooperation should India conduct a nuclear test,” newspaper Asahi Shimbun had reported. Abe reaffirmed this statement.

Prime Ministers Abe and Modi

Bloomberg reports that India’s nuclear power market is estimated at $150 billion and the country aims to boost energy generated from atomic plants to a quarter of its the total by 2050 from about 3.5 percent now, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Energy-hungry India wants to increase nuclear power generation to support its strong economic growth. The country has signed similar nuclear agreements with France, Russia, Britain and the United States. Modi said this pact is “a historic step in our engagement to build a clean energy partnership” that will help India “combat the challenge of climate change,” reports LA Times.

The New York Times says that this deal is timely for Japan’s nuclear power industry: With the domestic market moribund, Japanese companies had been pursuing deals abroad, but success was elusive. With 20 new reactors over the next decade or so, and as many as 55 more having been proposed, India does look a rare opportunity for trade, the publication said.

In addition to the nuclear agreement signed on Friday, Abe and Modi will explore plans to build new high-speed rail lines in India based on Japan’s Shinkansen bullet-train technology.

 

 

November 11, 2016   No Comments

India And Japan Review Final Steps of Nuclear Energy Agreement

India and Japan hope to sign a nuclear energy agreement when Prime Minister Modi visits Japan this week. The agreement, the first by Japan with a country that has not ratified the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, will enable Japan to export its nuclear energy technology for private-sector use in India, reports Defense World.

Prime Ministers Abe and Modi

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had told Prime Minister Modi at a meeting in New Delhi in December 2015, “We will discontinue cooperation should India conduct a nuclear test,” newspaper Asahi Shimbun reported. Japan has long pushed for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

Bloomberg reports that India’s nuclear power market is estimated at $150 billion and the country aims to boost energy generated from atomic plants to a quarter of its the total by 2050 from about 3.5 percent now, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Westinghouse Electric, a Pennsylvania-based company owned by Toshiba, is building six reactors in India; however, this project isn’t contingent on the bilateral treaty between Japan and India, a Toshiba spokesperson said.

 

November 7, 2016   No Comments