Mumbai: Dr Ratan Kumar Sinha on Wednesday
took over as the new Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre
(BARC) and made a strong case for India to take up global
leadership role in peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
59-year-old Sinha, who becomes the 10th Director of the
country`s premier strategic lab, has been closely associated
with the design and development of India`s first thorium-based
Advanced Heavy Water Reactor for the past 15 years.
Sinha took over from Dr Srikumar Banerjee, who is also
the Atomic Energy Commission(AEC) Chairman, at a simple
function held at Trombay.
"It is a great moment in my life and I thank my guru
Kakodkar," Sinha said on the occasion. Dr Anil Kakodkar,
former AEC Chairman, is Sinha`s mentor.
Talking to newsmen, Sinha said, "India has to be not
only relevant but also effective, excellent and efficient in
taking up leadership in peaceful uses of atom in the new
advantageous situation of international cooperation.
Challenges are much more."
"We have to grow further and become better than best in
the world in some areas, particularly in deployment of nuclear
power in other parts of the world," he said.
The goals set by BARC founder Homi Bhabha will remain
the same but milestones and priorities will keep changing as
per the time, he added.
Sinha said some of BARC`s priorities included ensuring
supply of fuel to country`s first Prototype fast breeder
reactor (PFBR) and other non-safeguarded reactors, besides
deployment of power and increase in production and supply of
radio isotopes at a competitive price.
On the deployment of thorium on a commercial scale, he
said, BARC has designed and developed a technology
demonstration plant of Advanced Heavy Water Reactor (AHWR) and
it would take few decades to reach there.
Banerjee, holding the post for five years, handed over
the charge to Sinha in the presence of several eminent
scientists and engineers of Department of Atomic Energy
"I feel privileged to occupy a chair which was earlier
occupied by our founding father Dr Homi J Bhabha and other
stalwarts like Homi Sethna, Raja Ramanna, P K Iyengar, R
Chidambaram, A N Prasad, Kakodkar, B B Bhattacharjee and
Banerjee," Sinha said.
Sinha said the world class technologies developed by
BARC scientists, inspite of technology denial regime, will
continue to grow with a sustainable performance.