Bhabha Atomic Research Centre

The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre ( BARC ) in Trombay, Maharashtra was on 20 January 1957 as the Atomic Energy Establishment Trombay ( AEET ), founded by the then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. The plant is about 15 km from Mumbai. When his head Homi Jehangir Bhabha was appointed. As this 1966 in a plane crash in the Swiss Alps was killed, the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi renamed the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in Centre.

The BARC has approximately 7,000 employees. They deal with all aspects of nuclear research: reprocessing, nuclear weapons, reactor research etc.

The reactors

There are numerous nuclear facilities on the premises.

The first reactor of India, APSARA, a light water reactor in the swimming pool design of approximately 1 megawatt output, has been built with the help of the British. It was August 4, 1956 for the first time critical.

The second, CIRUS (Canadian Indian Reactor with U.S. heavy water ), a reactor with 40 megawatts of power, was critically with the help of the Canadians on 10 July 1960. With this reactor, it was now possible to produce about 8 kg of plutonium per year.

The third, Zerlina, a research reactor was finally shut down critical and 1983 on 1 January 1961.

All three reactors were built with the help of foreign countries. In response to the Indian nuclear test of 1974, the nuclear cooperation was set in fact.

The Dhruva reactor went critical on 8 August 1985. He is a heavy water reactor with 100 megawatts of capacity and produced about 20 kilograms of plutonium per year.

The PURNIMA series:

  • PURNIMA was launched on 1 May 1972 and it is now off again.
  • PURNIMA II was launched on 10 May 1984 and is also switched off again and was a light water research reactor.
  • PURNIMA - III was launched in 1994 and works with U233. He is believed to be the predecessor of the KAMINI in Kalpakkam.

After delays of Advanced Heavy Water Reactor ( AWHR ) is to be built from 2007. The research reactor is to have a capacity of 300 megawatts. It is an important part of the planned thorium cycle, the uranium here to be bred. It is planned construction period 5-6 years.

A research reactor called Compact High Temperature Reactor ( CHTR ) was built. The start-up was planned for 2010. 2011 have been reported on the completion.

Other equipment

The plutonium separation plant in Trombay is a plant for plutonium and uranium enrichment. The plans are to come originally from Vitro International (USA). Since 1964, plutonium is extracted here from the fuel rods of the CIRUS reactor, and later from the Dhruva reactor. The plant can process about 150 tons of fuel per year.

In 1985, there is an appendix to enrich uranium using ultracentrifuge.

In addition, since 1993 there is also an enrichment plant with laser procedures.


On 13 December 1991, a line which conducts radioactive waste water into the sea broke. Several workers were contaminated with the cleanup.

Data of the reactors

The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre has three in operation and four reactors switched off: