Kirloskar Brothers develops critical application sodium pumps for Fast Breeder Nuclear Reactors

 Indigenously developed world-class technology from Kirloskar Brothers to cool down the India’s 1st 500 MW Fast Breeder Nuclear Reactor being set up by BHAVINI
Kirloskar Brothers Ltd. (KBL) handed over its technological marvel to the first-of-its-kind 500 MWe Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) project in India underway by Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Limited (BHAVINI).
BHAVINI, the wholly owned Enterprise of Government of India under the administrative control of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), is constructing India’s first 500 MWe pool type, sodium cooled nuclear reactor in the country at Kalpakkam, 70 kms away from Chennai in Tamil Nadu.
Dr. Prabhat Kumar, Chairman and Managing Director, BHAVINI flagged off the “1st Primary Sodium Pumps (PSP)” from the 100 year old Kirloskarvadi plant of Kirloskar Brothers Limited. The three PSPs manufactured in Kirloskarvadi – India’s second oldest industrial township – weigh 135 tonnes and they will handle 5.16 lakh litres of liquid Sodium per minute when installed at Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR). At 590 RPM (rotations per minute), these technological marvels will handle liquid sodium at 400 C to 550 C.
Speaking at the occasion Sanjay Kirloskar, Chairman and Managing Director, Kirloskar Brothers Ltd said, “It gives me immense satisfaction to see Kirloskar Brothers being at the forefront of technological advancements taking place in the Nuclear Power space.  The vertical, single stage, top suction pumps are nothing but an alternate to imports. Today I can proudly say: we can.”
Dr. Prabhat Kumar, Chairman and  Managing Director, BHAVINI said,  “With this flag off, the PFBR is one step closer to realisation and our aim of kick-starting power production from PFBR. PFBR is the forerunner of the future Fast Breeder Reactors. It is not only Prototype 500 MWe reactor, but a commercial venture too.”
He continued, “An advantage of liquid metal coolants is high heat capacity which provides thermal inertia against overheating. Sodium atoms are much heavier than both the oxygen and hydrogen atoms found in water, and therefore the neutrons lose less energy in collisions with sodium atoms. Sodium also need not be pressurised since its boiling point is much higher than the reactor’s operating temperature, and sodium does not corrode reactor components in contact with sodium coolant or sodium aerosol.”
Ravindra Ulangwar, Associate Vice President and Head – Power Sector, KBL, said, “The PFBR setup is having two types of Sodium pumps. In the primary circuit, Primary Sodium Pump will transport the reactor core heat to secondary system and installed in the main reactor. In secondary circuit, Secondary Sodium Pumps feed the liquid Sodium back to reactor pool after taking away the heat through Heat Exchanger to light water, so as to convert it in to steam. These Secondary Sodium Pumps are installed outside the reactor vessel.”

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