India Develops Superalloys for Nuclear Reactors (US)

Hyderabad: Researchers at Hyderabad-based Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC) and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) indigenously developed super alloys that form an important part of nuclear reactors, which hitherto were imported from other countries.

The two super alloys developed by the top nuclear institutions include SuperNi (Super Nickel) and a Titanium-based alloy Titan 24. “For many of our nuclear programmes, we are forced to import material. Such nuclear materials are not readily available, attract international regulations and are expensive. This forced us to develop SuperNi and Titan 24,” said Dr. Dinesh Srivastava, chairman and chief executive of NFC, at the ‘NFC Day’ on Friday.

Acknowledging the role of such super alloys, BARC Director Dr. KN Vyas said in the coming years there will be a huge demand for SuperNi. “NFC has to increase its capacity to produce SuperNi tubes because in the future, we need anywhere between 10,000 and 12,000 such tubes. It’s a big challenge, but I am sure NFC will be able to manage,” Vyas said.

NFC produces about 100 to 200 SuperNi tubes. “We proved the technology to produce SuperNi. The next challenge is to produce them at a larger scale,” Dr. Srivastava said.

According to the NFC chairman, the nuclear fuel and other materials, including the super alloys, are produced under the watchful eyes of the regulatory authority i.e. Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB). “Safety was always a big priority at NFC. We undergo frequent inspections and there were occasions when AERB regulators were stationed here to oversee some of the critical processes,” said Dr. Srivastava.

Posted in Research and development.

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