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Posted at: Feb 3, 2019, 6:52 AM; last updated: Feb 3, 2019, 6:52 AM (IST)

‘Safety a challenge in nuclear reactors’

‘Safety a challenge in nuclear reactors’
Christoph Hartnack

Chandigarh, February 2

High-level safety with competitive price is one of the biggest challenges in the nuclear reactor technology, says French scientist Christoph Hartnack, who is a teaching deputy at Subatech, a nuclear physics research institute, Nantes, France.

Hartnack is also adjunct coordinator of Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree (EMJMD). France has 59 nuclear reactors and its 80 per cent energy demand is met through the nuclear energy. 

“The big challenge is safety,” he said. “EPR reactors, which are third generation reactors, are being developed. China has already started operating EPR reactors,” he added. 

Another concern is disposal of nuclear waste. He said under the Cigeo project, nuclear waste would be buried 500 metre below the ground. “We have found a solution. It has a capacity of 20 years,” he said. 

On the issue of thorium-based and uranium-based nuclear reactors, Hartnack said the idea of thorium-based reactors was initiated in 1960s, but it didn’t develop much. “It is developing. It has been revived...It has lesser risk of proliferation,” he said. 

Hartnack said the feasibility of nuclear fusion reactor was being chalked out. — TNS

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