Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Visakhapatnam / Vizag

Visakhapatnam (also known as Vizag and Waltair ) is the largest city of Andhra Pradesh. Its shortened form, Vizag was used by the British administrators who were unable to pronounce its long name. It is still referred to as Vizag by locals too, however since independence, people have reverted to calling it by its Indian name of Visakhapatnam. The port city emerging as a strategic point for naval establishments, new nuclear submarine base and other defense installations.

Construction of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre [BARC] facility at Mekarasi Hills, Atchutapuram, Visakhapatnam, which will be three times the size of the one at Trombay, near Mumbai, would be taken up in phases and the first phase was estimated at Rs. 550 crores. The new unit of the Baba Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in Visakha district was to become operational in five years. Delivering the address at the Nucar-2011 (Nuclear and radiochemistry) meet here on 22 February 2011, Prof P Rama Rao, chairman of Board of Research in Nuclear Sciences (BRNS) in the department of automic energy, said the new BARC research centre in Visakhapatnam would be a suitable place to train the required manpower for the nuclear sector.

Government decided to set up an expansion unit of BARC in Vizag in Andhra Pradesh with an initial investment of over Rs 2,000 crore. This will be part of the UPA government's developmental program in the state and the expansion unit in Visakhapatnam would be next to Trombay in size, Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh told reporters Aug 18, 2007.

Acquisition of 1,000 acres of land for Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC)'s second campus at Atchyutapuram, for building a township will be completed in a couple of months, Scientific Officer G and in-charge of Engineering Services Division of BARC here, M. Venkataratnam said on 23 February 2012. An area of 4,000 acres which will be the main site is with the BARC after the APIIC acquired it and handed it over, while the rest of land -- 600 acres belonged to the government and the remaining 400 acres was with private persons.

India was planning for the beginning of construction of two new production reactors by 2017 — the 125 MWth Dhruva-II in Vizag, Andhra Pradesh, and another 30 MWth High Flux Research Reactor [HFRR] as a replacement for CIRUS, which would further add another 26-35 kg of weapons-grade plutonium production every year for the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). This would become part of a nuclear fuel cycle park involving research reactors, fuel fabrication and reprocessing facilities at the Vizag campus of BARC.

On 20 March 2013 the Government told the Lok Sabha that "Two research reactors are proposed to be constructed at the new BARC Campus at Vizag. One of the research reactors will be similar to existing 100 MW Dhruva research reactor. The other research reactor will be a 30 MW reactor specifically designed to produce high specific activity radioisotopes not presently produced in the country." This statement was repeated verbatim on 06 August 2014.

On March 09, 2017 Bhabha Atomic Research Centre announced plans to set up a 30 MW research reactor at Visakhapatnam to meet the demand for high specific activity radioisotopes and carry out extensive research and development in nuclear sector. Presently, only two research reactors, including 100 MW Dhruva at Tarapur in Maharashtra and 30 KW Kamini at Kalpakkam in Tamil Nadu are operational, while the older six reactors have been decommissioned for various reasons. “There is a lot of work to be done in the field of radioisotopes. We currently have only two research reactors operational and we will be recommissioning the Apsara reactor by 2018,” Sujay Bhattacharya, Associate Director, Reactor Group at BARC, told PTI. “But now, as we continue to expand in this area, we felt the need to have one more reactor,” he said.

Bhattacharya said BARC has started working on the new project since 2013 and in 2015 it submitted a detailed report of this 30 MW reactor at Vizag, which will be a special reactor using an enriched uranium-based fuel. “To set up a reactor is a long process. We are awaiting site clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests and other authorities concerned to set up the reactor at Vizag,” Bhattacharya said. He said this reactor will be useful to meet the country’s demand for high specific activity radioisotopes. “It will also provide facilities for basic and applied research in the development and testing of nuclear fuel and reactor materials,” Bhattacharya said.

Initially, the Dhruva II reactor was expected to become operational in 2020. By one 2016 account, the 125 MWt Dhruva-II was "nearing completion". As of January 2019, both the 125 MWth Dhruva-II and 35 MWth Research Reactor remained in the "Planned" category.

In March 2018 it was reported that around 4000 acres of land would be acquired in Atchutapuram Mandal of Visakhapatnam district for setting up Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). A report on the status of land acquisition for the proposed BARC Centre would be submitted by the end of March. The district collector of Visakhapatnam Pravin Kumar observed that there were issues surrounding the land acquisition in the villages of Thanthadi and Chippada and urged the revenue department officials to resolve the issues at the earliest.

In early Gujarat, Akalavarsha was succeeded by his son Dhruva II, also called Dhéravarsha and Nirupama. Of Dhruva II, two copperplates remain the published Bagumra grant dated Saka 789 (AD 867) and an unpublished Baroda grant dated Saka 793 (Am. 871).1 Both plates record that Dhruva II crushed certain intrigues among his relatives or bandhuvarga, and established himself firmly on the throne. Regarding the troubles at the beginning of his reign the Bagumra plate states that on one side Vallabha the head of the Dakhan Rashtrakutas was still against him; on another side Dhruva had to face an army of Gurjjaras instigated by a member of his own family; thirdly he was opposed by certain of his relatives or bandhawill ; and lastly he had to contend against the intrigues of a younger brother or anuja. It further appears from Dhruva II’s Bagumra plate that he checked an inroad by a Mihira king with a powerful army.

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Page last modified: 24-02-2020 18:32:59 ZULU