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Write a short note on the working principle of the Pressurised Heavy water reactors. What is meant by the term “Achieving Criticality”? Discuss its importance for India’s nuclear energy program.

Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

6. Write a short note on the working principle of the Pressurised Heavy water reactors. What is meant by the term “Achieving Criticality”? Discuss its importance for India’s nuclear energy program. (250 words).

Reference: Indian Express 

Why this question:

The third unit of the Kakrapar Atomic Power Project (KAPP-3) in Gujarat achieved its ‘first criticality’ — a term that signifies the initiation of a controlled but sustained nuclear fission reaction — recently. This is a landmark event in India’s domestic civilian nuclear programme given that KAPP-3 is the country’s first 700 MWe (megawatt electric) unit, and the biggest indigenously developed variant of the Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR).

Key demand of the question:

This is a straightforward question where One must discuss in detail the working principle of Pressurised Heavy water reactors and “Achieving Criticality”. One must also discuss the importance of PHWRs in India’s nuclear energy program.

Directive:

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by explaining that The third unit of the Kakrapar Atomic Power Project (KAPP-3) in Gujarat achieved its ‘first criticality’ — a term that signifies the initiation of a controlled but sustained nuclear fission reaction — recently.

Body:

Discuss the working principle of PHWR.

Explain the term achieving criticality.

Discuss the significance of PHWRs in India’s nuclear energy program.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.