Fuel is at the heart of a nuclear reactor and no indigenous nuclear power program can sustain without regular and assured supply of fuel to the reactors. BARC has mastered the fuel design and fabrication technology containing uranium, plutonium, thorium and uranium 233. Thorex process is still in the developmental stage. It has a major role in the third stage of the Indian Nuclear Power Program. R&D activities are in progress to meet the challenges of this fuel cycle.
A variety of fuels such as Uranium fuel clusters for Dhruva, mixed carbide fuel
elements for the Fast Breeder Test Reactor, mixed oxide fuel for the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor, Fuel for ADSS program, Development of Low Enriched uranium fuel for modified core of APSARA reactor, Dispersion fuels and experimental fuel clusters for irradiation in research reactors are being fabricated at BARC.
Development of flow sheets for manufacture of fuel for AHWR as well as for CHTR is in progress. Similar work is being carried out inthe development and fabrication of metallic fuels and CERMET fuel for fast reactors.
R&D activities are being carried out in the characterisation, performance assessment, burn-up and fabrication parameters of reactor fuels. Mechanisation and modifications of workstations, equipment and processes have been adopted to enhance productivity and to ensure safety.