India's BARC Developing Portable Nuclear Reactor

The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) is reportedly developing a mobile/portable reactor technology with wide-ranging applications. Although specific details remain undisclosed, experts believe it could be a dual-use system, potentially impacting both civilian and military sectors. The concept of a mobile reactor presents exciting possibilities.

BARC is working on a mobile nuclear reactor that uses a teleoperated system of a mobile robot, wireless network, and control stations. The mobile robot is Ackerman steered and has a mission time of 10 hours on a single charge.

A mobile reactor could provide a reliable and continuous power source for remote locations currently lacking access to traditional infrastructure. This would be particularly beneficial for regions with challenging terrain or underdeveloped grids.

Military Implications: Given BARC's experience in developing nuclear reactors for both power generation and submarine propulsion, this mobile technology could also be used for high-powered Electronic Warfare (EW) weapon systems.

Small Modular Reactors (SMRs)

India's interest in mobile reactors comes amidst discussions with France and Russia regarding Small Modular Reactor (SMR) technology. SMRs offer several advantages over traditional large-scale reactors, including factory fabrication, reduced construction time and costs, and flexibility in deployment. Beyond mobility, SMRs are seen as a promising solution for industrial decarbonization and clean energy applications.

While the potential benefits of mobile reactors are significant, their dual-use nature warrants careful consideration. BARC's ongoing research could pave the way for innovative solutions in both civilian and defense contexts.

Via –

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