BARC develops technology to turn sewage into fertiliser

Chennai: India's premier nuclear research organisation, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), is planning to deploy its technology in treatment of sewage through radiation, and its conversion into bio-fertiliser.

The BARC wishes to share its technology with state governments and various municipal bodies, its director Sekhar Basu said.

Sewage pipes in New Delhi. Getty Images

"We are certainly interested in approaching the state governments and other organisations to spread the societal use of nuclear technologies," Basu said, speaking to reporters here on Friday.

Through irradiation —the process of exposing an object to nuclear radiation— the harmful bacteria and other pathogens will be eliminated and the waste sludge when dried will be used as a bio-fertiliser, he said, elaborating on the process.

This system is being used in a sewage water treatment plant in Gujarat. The BARC will now start approaching the municipal organisations for radiation treatment of sewage, he said.

Basu said the agency will also start talking to agricultural universities in the country to propagate its seed varieties and techniques for preservation of farm produce.

The atomic research agency has also developed around 15 varieties of confectionary grade high yielding groundnut and black gram seeds.

The agency has developed micro-propagation protocols, a technique for large-scale rapid plant multiplication for banana, sugarcane, pineapple, potato, turmeric and ginger.

While the banana tissue culture production has been transferred to a couple of agencies, BARC is now working on sugarcane, pineapple and other farm produces.

On the disposal of radioactive waste from nuclear reactors, Basu said BARC will commission a new facility in Tarapur in Maharashtra next year and that would facilitate burning of waste elements.

He said the longer and shorter life radioactive materials will be separated during the reprocessing of fuel.

"The isotopes with shorter life will be stored in underground facility and the longer life ones would be burned in fast breeder reactor like the one that is coming up in Kalpakkam (500 MW prototype fast breeder reactor)," Basu said.


Updated Date: Jul 28, 2012 12:36 PM

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