New Delhi: “Research reactors are the back bone of Nuclear Programme” said Dr. Homi J. Bhabha, the father of Indian Nuclear programme, in early fifties. Subsequently “Apsara”, the first research reactor in Asia became operational in Trombay campus of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in August 1956. After providing more than five decades of dedicated service to the researchers, the reactor was shut down in 2009.
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 10th September 2018 at 18:41 hrs. The reactor, made indigenously, uses plate type dispersion fuel elements made of Low Enriched Uranium (LEU). By virtue of higher neutron flux, this reactor will increase indigenous production or radio-isotopes for medical application by about fifty percent and would also be extensively used for research in nuclear physics, material science and radiation shielding.
This development has re-emphasised the capability of Indian scientists and Engineers to build, complex facilities for health care, science education and research.