Apsara-U: Asia's first research reactor restored and now operational at BARC

The reactor is used for to study neutron radiography, radiation damage, forensics, and shielding.

Apsara, the first research reactor in Asia that worked nearly five decades before shutting down in 2009, is now operational as 'Apsara-U' on Trombay campus of Maharashtra, said Department of Atomic Energy on Tuesday, 11 September.

"Nearly sixty-two years after Apsara came into existence, a swimming pool type research reactor "Apsara-upgraded", of higher capacity was born at Trombay on September 10," said the Ministry.

According to Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Apsara is a light water swimming pool-type reactor with a maximum power output of one megawatt thermal (MWT).

A top view of the Apsara-U reactor. Image courtesy: Press Information Bureau, Govt. of India

A top view of the Apsara-U reactor. Image courtesy: Press Information Bureau, Govt. of India

It is utilized for various experiments, including neutron activation analysis, radiation damage studies, forensic research, neutron radiography, and shielding experiments.

The ministry said the reactor can also be used for research and production of radioisotopes for medical application and would also be extensively used for research in nuclear physics, material science and radiation shielding.

This development helped the Indian scientists and engineers to build complex facilities for healthcare, science education and research, it said.




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