Dhruva reactor


The Dhruva reactor is India's largest nuclear research reactor. It was the first nuclear reactor in Asia proper.[1] Located in the Mumbai suburb of Trombay at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), it is India's primary generator of weapons-grade plutonium-bearing spent fuel for its nuclear weapons program. Originally named the R-5, this open pool reactor first went critical on 8 August 1985 after 10 years of construction. However, the unit did not attain full power until 1988.[2] The reactor experienced at least one serious accident when 4 metric tons (3.9 long tons) of heavy water overflowed from the reactor core in 1985 following vibration problems.[3]

Designed as a larger version of the CIRUS reactor, Dhruva was an Indian designed project built to provide an independent source of weapons-grade plutonium free from safeguards.[4] The Dhruva project cost 950 million rupees. The reactor uses heavy water (deuterium) as a moderator and coolant. Aluminum clad fuel rods containing natural uranium are used to obtain a maximum thermal power output of 100 megawatts.[3] The reactor can produce 20–25 kilograms (44–55 lb) of weapons-grade plutonium per year.[5][6]

Dhruva, in Indian mythology, is a prince blessed to eternal existence and glory as the Pole Star by Vishnu. It can also mean 'immovable' in Sanskrit.[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Office of Scientific Intelligence (26 March 1958). "Indian Nuclear Energy Program" (PDF). National Security Archive. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  2. ^ Andrew Koch (1999). "Selected Indian Nuclear Facilities". Archived from the original on 15 December 2001.
  3. ^ a b "Dhruva Research Reactor". Nuclear Threat Initiative. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  4. ^ Menon, Amarnath K (3 January 2014). "Indian scientists achieve major landmark in atomic energy programme with Dhruva". India Today. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  5. ^ Albright, David; Hibbs, Mark (31 August 1992). "India's Silent Bomb". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
  6. ^ Sidhu, Waheguru Pal Singh (2013). Enhancing Indo-US Strategic Cooperation (2nd ed.). Abingdon: Routledge. p. 22. ISBN 978-1-136-04608-7.
  7. ^ Vinay, Dr (2006). Linga Purana. Diamond Pocket Books. p. 41. ISBN 9788128806797.

External linksEdit

  • David Albright (7 May 2005). "India's Military Plutonium Inventory, End 2004" (PDF). ISIS.