Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Kirloskar Bros Sodium pumps for 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

 KBL becomes the only Indian company to develop critical application sodium pumps for Fast Breeder Nuclear Reactors

Sanjay Kirloskar, CMD KBL along with Mr. Prabhat Kumar, CMD Bhavini and KBL team at the handover of Primary Sodium Pump to Bhavini, Kalpakkam


Pune October 21, 2013
Kirloskar Brothers Limited (KBL) today handed over its technological marvel to the first-of-its-kind 500MWe 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 500MWe pool type, sodium cooled nuclear reactor in the country at Kalpakkam, 70 Kms away from Chennai in Tamil Nadu.

Dr. Prabhat Kumar, Chairman & 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 tons and they will handle 5.16 lakh liters 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 Mr. Sanjay Kirloskar, Chairman & Managing Director, Kirloskar Brothers Limited 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 & Managing Director, BHAVINI said: “With this flag off, the PFBR is one step closer to realization and our aim of kick starting power production fromPrototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR). PFBR is the forerunner of the future Fast Breeder Reactors. It is not only Prototype 500MWe reactor, but a commercial venture too. It is heartening to see Kirloskar Brothers Limited has successfully developed, manufactured and tested the liquid engineering elements.” 

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 pressurized 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.”

Mr. Ravindra Ulangwar, Associate Vice President & 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.  I feel privileged to say that India has successfully developed the technology for commercial exploitation. And we at KBL are the only Indian company to develop such type of critical application pumps.”

It should be noted that the PFBR is being built with the design and technology developed at the Kalpakkam-based Indira Gandhi Center for Atomic Research (IGCAR).

India’s Long – term nuclear power programme is based on utilizing the vast indigenous thorium resources for electricity generation. India’s uranium resources can support a first – stage programme of about 12000 MWe based on pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) using natural uranium as fuel and heavy water as moderator and coolant. The energy potential of natural uranium can be increased to about 550000 MWe in the second stage through Fast Breeder Reactors (FBR’s) which utilize plutonium obtained from the recycled spent fuel of the first stage along with depleted uranium as blanket, to produce more plutonium or thorium in blanket to produce U-233. With the deployment of thorium at third stage using U-233 as fuel, the energy potential for electricity generation can be large and can produce abundant energy for future generation. Indigenous industrial infrastructure for reactor programme is well developed and technological capability exists within the department of Atomic Energy. Indian industries have gained valuable experience and reached a stage of maturity in manufacturing equipment and handling mega package contracts for these reactors.

Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) is the Nuclear Power’s Second stage, the first stage being thermal reactors operating on lower energy neutrons.


Kirloskar Brothers Limited is the flagship company of the $ 2.1 billion Kirloskar group. KBL is a global fluid management solutions provider and the largest manufacturer and exporter of centrifugal pumps and valves from India. The core businesses of KBL are large infrastructure projects (Water Supply, Power Plants, and Irrigation), Project and Engineered Pumps, Industrial Pumps, Agriculture and Domestic Pumps, Valves, Motors and Hydro turbines.

Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Limited (BHAVINI) is a wholly owned Enterprise of Government of India under the administrative control of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) incorporated on 22nd October 2003 as Public Limited Company under the companies act, 1956 with the objective of constructing and commissioning the first 500 MWe Fast Breeder Reactor (FBR) at Kalpakkam in Tamilnadu and to pursue construction, commissioning, operation and maintenance of subsequent Fast Breeder Reactors for generation of electricity in pursuance of the schemes and programmes of Government of India under the provisions of the Atomic Energy Act,1962.

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