Chennai: Nuclear reactor scientist P. Chellapandi has been appointed the CMD of India's fast breeder reactor power company Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Ltd (BHAVINI), an official said Saturday.
He is currently a director at the Reactor Engineering Group of the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR).
Reacting to his appointment as the chairman and managing director, Chellapandi told IANS: "I feel happy. It is a challenging task for me."
A distinguished scientist, Chellapandi began his career in IGCAR in 1979 and specialised in design, analysis and qualification of nuclear reactor components.
He is the first person from IGCAR to head a nuclear power company.
The central government in last October appointed Rajani Sankaran as the officiating CMD for three months. She succeeded Prabhat Kumar, BHAVINI's first CMD, and her term ended Saturday.
BHAVINI is setting up the country's first indigenously designed 500 MW prototype fast breeder reactor (PFBR) at Kalpakkam, around 80 km from here.
Officials told IANS that the project was at a very crucial stage and if every technical challenge is sorted out then it plant would go on stream in less than two years time.
Interestingly, the reactor was designed by IGCAR.
A breeder reactor is one that breeds more material for a nuclear fission reaction than it consumes. The PFBR will be fuelled by a blend of plutonium and uranium oxide, called MOX fuel.
While the reactor will break up (fission) plutonium for power production, it will also breed more plutonium than it consumes. The original plutonium comes from natural uranium.