The spent fuel reprocessing plant is a milestone in India's three-stage nuclear programme," he said, adding that it would help in the transition from the first stage to the second (of the programme) for building fast breeder reactors
to produce sustainable and clean energy for the country.
Plagued by high costs, often multiyear downtime for repairs (including a 15-year reactor restart delay in Japan), multiple safety problems (among them often catastrophic sodium fires triggered simply by contact with oxygen), and unresolved proliferation risks, fast breeder reactors
already have been the focus of more than $50,000,000,000 in development spending, including over $10,000,000,000 each by the U.
India's ambitious breeder reactor
programme, which has also been kept outside safeguards, will have the eventual capacity to produce some 500-800 kg of weapons grade plutonium a year.
Sodium-cooled fast reactors have been the most popular design for breeder reactors
, with prototypes built as early as 1951.
Because of the failure of breeder reactors
, Japan, like France and the United Kingdom, has a plutonium disposal problem.
Sodium cooled breeder reactors
are not commercial today despite global expenditures on the order of $100 billion over six decades.
Titled "Fast Breeder Reactor
Programs: History and Status," the IPFM report concludes: "The problems (with fast breeder reactors
For the most part, government interest in breeder reactors
severely waned in the 1980s and officially came to an end in 1994, when the ERB-II reactor in Idaho was finally shut down and funding for research stopped.
Jitendra Singh mentioned the 3-stage nuclear power programme with Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) in the first stage, Fast Breeder Reactors
in the second stage and Thorium based reactors to be put up in the third stage.
Some breeder reactors
can do away with uranium altogether.
Fast breeder reactors
gain their name for their ability to use fast unmoderated neutrons to breed fissile plutonium and possibly higher transuranics from uranium.
Overall, it is expected that costs of sodium-cooled breeders will be significantly higher than current reactors, despite the fact that about $100 billion have been spent worldwide (2007 dollars) on the attempt to commercialize sodium-cooled breeder reactors
, so far without success.
The world's only 500 MW Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor
is at an advanced stage of construction at Kalpakkam south of Chennai, a plant that will generate more fuel than it consumes.
We demand that Japan withdraw from fast breeder reactor
Before building the Monju reactor, Japan constructed an experimental fast breeder reactor
, named Joyo, in Oarai, Ibaraki Prefecture, which reached criticality in 1977.